Sverker Sörlin

Non-resident Long-term Fellow for Programmes on Environmental Humanities, SCAS.
Professor of Environmental History, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm


Sverker Sörlin, b. 1956, has a long-standing career in scholarship, policy advice, academic leader-
ship, and as a public intellectual. Trained as an intellectual historian, he became Professor of Environ-
mental History at Umeå University in 1993. In 2007, Sörlin assumed his current professorship within
the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at KTH in Stockholm, where he was
a co-founder of the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory (2011). He has held appointments and
visiting positions at universities and institutes in Sweden and abroad, including at the UC Berkeley, in
Cambridge, Cape Town and Oslo, at the UBC Vancouver, and at the Institute for Advanced Study,
Princeton.

A specialist in the history of environmental field sciences, Sörlin’s current research is on the formation
of global environmental governance and the science politics of the cryosphere, climate change and the
Anthropocene. As a writer and critic, he has published narrative non-fiction, essays, biographies, and
scripts for television and film. He is a government adviser on research policy and has, in the past few
years, focused on the history and future of the humanities. He is a member of the Climate Policy Council,
consisting of eight autonomous experts charged with evaluating, on an annual basis, the government’s
policies to reach the net zero emission target by 2045. 

Sörlin’s most recent books in English include The Future of Nature (Yale, 2013, with Libby Robin and
Paul Warde), The Environment – A History of the Idea (Johns Hopkins, 2018, with Libby Robin and
Paul Warde), and Grounding Urban Natures: Histories and Futures of Urban Ecologies (MIT Press,
2019, with Henrik Ernstson). His next book, Ice Humanities: Materiality, Ontology, and Representation
(with Klaus Dodds), is to be published in the fall of 2021 (Manchester UP), and another, The Human
Environment: Stockholm and the Rise of Global Environmental Governance
(with Eric Paglia), is under
contract with Cambridge University Press. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals and book
series, including the Environmental Humanities (Duke UP), The Anthropocene Review, and the Environ-
mental Humanities Series on Routledge. Sörlin has served on the boards of several museums, universities
and research funding organizations, and is currently on the boards of the Swedish International Develop-
ment Agency (Sida) and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

He currently (2018–23) leads the ERC Advanced Grant project SPHERE – Study of the Planetary Human
Earth Relationship: The Rise of Global Environmental Governance
at KTH, along with partners in Cambridge,
Berkeley, and Sydney. 


This information is accurate as of the academic year 2021-22.