Emil Henrik Flatø

Image of Emil Henrik Flatø
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Phone +47 22855574
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 P. A. Munchs hus 0371 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1010 Blindern 0315 Oslo
Other affiliations Faculty of Humanities (Student)

Academic interests

My research looks at early efforts to bring science to bear on the question of future climates to advise politicians and publics.

Specifically, the peculiar environment at M.I.T. in the late 1960s and early ‘70s fascinates me. This was a culture that spawned various approaches to future change. Many of the protagonists had expertise that was new to the academy: they were “socio-technical engineers”, business school professors, and the computer-modeling pioneers of “systems dynamics”. They made their claims on the shifting epistemological terrain of an interdisciplinary field that was just coming together.

I am particularly interested in the proliferation of talk at the time about a science of “global problems”, which curiously resonates with the turn towards a politics of “issues” in science of technology studies.  

I am also interested in how scientific claims about the future reckon with whatever collective human agencies that can, and do, shape earth-scale processes.


My education includes a master’s in Modern Culture from the University of Copenhagen, and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University, majoring in human rights. I have also studied law and international relations. Queer theory, urban studies and documentary arts.

Before embarking on my PhD, I worked for several years as a staff writer, critic and commentator at the weekly Morgenbladet.

This broad experience has left me with a desire to work with knowledge in many ways; to be a scholar and not just a researcher. Luckily, the spirit of expanding the bounds of academic work is alive and well in the environmental humanities, but I am always open to encounters with new ways of thinking and doing.


Tags: Futures, Multiple temporalities, History of Science, Data, Climate, Environmental Humanities, STS


  • Jordheim, Helge; Op de Beke, Laura; Bjordal, Sine Halkjelsvik; Zuiderveen Borgesius, Leonoor; Brenna, Brita & Flatø, Emil Henrik [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2022). Fossilization, or the matter of historical futures . History and Theory. ISSN 0018-2656. 61(1), p. 4–26. doi: 10.1111/hith.12250.

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  • Flatø, Emil (2021). Foreseeing Like a System: Enter the IPCC’s Scenario Matrix .
  • Flatø, Emil (2021). Precious time, limited worlds: Toward a history of modeled climate futures.
  • Flatø, Emil (2021). Is Time Space? The philosopher, the cybernaut, and futures in the Sixth Assessment Report.
  • Flatø, Emil; Gruber, Christina; Hertz, Samuel; Brain, Tega & Domínguez Rangel, Natalia (2020). Zugzwang - The Compulsion to Find a Common Baseline in Sound.
  • Flatø, Emil; Zuiderveen Borgesius, Leonoor Elisabeth; Jacobsen, Stine Alling & Bastian, Michelle (2020). Is Time That Hard to Grasp? - Trailer for the stream Approaching Time-Things.
  • Flatø, Emil Henrik (2020). Pandemien har vist oss noe viktig – teknokratene er ikke lenger føre var. [Newspaper]. Morgenbladet.
  • Flatø, Emil Henrik (2020). Temporalizing the Issue – Lessons about time and science from 1970s climate futures .
  • Flatø, Emil (2019). Journalism, History and Environmental Time(s) - Lessons from ”Atchafalaya” .
  • Flatø, Emil (2018). Jeg hater internett. Fanfare. ISSN 9780996421805.

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Published May 6, 2019 3:28 PM - Last modified Sep. 6, 2022 10:03 AM