Iris Leikanger

Doctoral Research Fellow - Centre for Development and Environment
Image of Iris Leikanger
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone 92 35 97 42
Visiting address Sandakerveien 130 Bygg 2 0484 OSLO

Academic interests

Policies and politics of climate change research; climate change adaptation; science policy; science-policy interactions; boundary work and cultural cartographies of science; policy discourses and relationships between discourse and policymaking

Currently writing about the implementation of increased demands for "user involvement" in scientific research, particularly in the climate field, as an expression of an ongoing science policy shift which can currently be described under the headline "open science." Interested in examining the cultural cartographies of science and narratives that underlie this policy shift and their relation to actual changes being implemented in the Norwegian research system by actors like the Research Council of Norway.



In 2019, Iris finished an MPhil at SUM titled With and for Society? Experiences from CICERO Center for International Climate Research with User Involvement in Science. The thesis examines the effects of increased demands for user involvement as an expression of an ongoing science policy shift which emphasises the inclusion of non-academic stakeholders in decision making about and processes of scientific research.

From 2013 to 2017, Iris lived in Nepal, primarily working at the intergovernmental research institution International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) as Programme Officer for a large interdisciplinary research project on climate change adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region (specifically China, India, Pakistan and Nepal). Her role included coordinating the synthesis of research results from different disciplines in order to produce policy briefs and other materials intended to communicate the results to relevant "users" in and outside the region, as well as meeting with policymakers and other officials from the four countries in order to communicate research results. It was through this work that Iris became interested in the boundaries and interactions between science and policy in the climate field.

Iris has a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Durham University in England, and wrote a bachelor's dissertation in social anthropology based on ethnographic research in Kanungu, Uganda titled "History repeats itself": Agricultural development and modernisation discourse in southwest Uganda. The dissertation discussed how different discourses of modernity and modernisation impact the development of Ugandan agricultural development policy as well as its reception by smallholder farmers in Kanungu.


  • 2019: The Science Studies Colloquium Qualification Stipend
  • 2018: The Science Studies Colloquium Master's Stipend
  • 2013: The David Brooks Memorial Fund Award for Best Undergraduate Dissertation in Sociocultural Anthropology (Durham University)
  • 2013: Van Mildert College JCR's Contribution to the Wider Community Award (Durham University)
  • 2012: The Durham University Vice Chancellor's Scholarship for Academic Excellence
  • 2012: The UEL International Development Undergraduate Conference's award for Best Paper in the plenary session on Development Theory & Economics
Published Sep. 28, 2019 4:15 PM - Last modified Sep. 17, 2021 2:17 PM