Göran Sundqvist


Department of Sociology and Work
Visiting address
Skanstorget 18
41122 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 720
40530 Göteborg

About Göran Sundqvist

Background GÖRAN SUNDQVIST has a PhD in Sociology (University of Gothenburg, 1992) and is Professor in Science and Technology Studies (STS) since 2008. After finishing his doctoral studies he held a Post Doc (1992–1996) and a Senior Lecturer position (1997–2008) in STS at the Department of Interdisciplinary Research, University of Gothenburg. Sundqvist has also been Professor in STS at the TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo (2008-2015) and leader of its STS research group. He is currently Professor at the Department of Sociology and Work Science and (2015–2019) Director of Research and PhD education, University of Gothenburg (since 2015). Since 2017 he is appointed Professor II at CICERO – Center for International Climate Research, Oslo. Sundqvist has also been a visiting scholar at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University (6 months, 1997), SCORE – Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research, Stockholm University (3 months, 2004-2005), and Center for the Sociology of Innovation, Mines ParisTech (3 months, 2012).

Research interests Göran Sundqvist’s research focuses on the role of expertise, the interplay of science and policy, and the expert-lay divide. His research is anchored in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies – STS. Sundqvist is currently conducting empirical studies on nuclear waste management and climate change. These highly controversial issues are research-dependent, publicly discussed and in need of regulation. The role for the sociologist is to understand these conflicts and what problems scientific knowledge can solve and not solve. Examples from his research is presented in the books The Bedrock of Opinion: Science, Technology and Society in the Siting of High-Level Nuclear Waste (Springer, 2002) and Governing the Air: The Dynamics of Science, Policy, and Citizen Interaction (edited with Rolf Lidskog, MIT Press, 2011), and in Swedish in Vem bryr sig? Om klimatforskning och klimatpolitik [Who Cares? About Climate Research and Climate Politics] (Daidalos, 2021).

Selection of externally funded projects 2022–2026 Fossil free futures: Divestment across the Nordic countries. Project leader: Linda Soneryd, Score, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research. Funder: Future Challenges in the Nordics – People, Culture and Society. (participant: Göran Sundqvist, University of Gothenburg).

2020–2023 What can science deliver and what does policy want? Expectations on science in support of climate change action. Funder: The Swedish Research Council. Project leader: Göran Sundqvist, University of Gothenburg.

2017–2021 Understanding the international CONtext for Norway’s low-emission EConomy Transition (CONNECT). Funding agency: The Research Council of Norway. Project leader: Guri Bang, CICERO – Center for International Climate Research, Oslo (participant: Göran Sundqvist, professor II, CICERO).

2015–2019 Modern2020 – Development and demonstration of monitoring strategies and technologies for geological disposal. Funding agency: EC/EURATOM research and training programme. Project leader: Johan Bertrand, Andra – Agence Nationale Pour La Gestion Des Dechets Radioactifs, France. Swedish partner: University of Gothenburg (Göran Sundqvist).

2014–2016 The IPCC AR5 In Europe: Usability, framing and communication of scientific climate information. Funding agency: The Research Council of Norway. Project leader: Asuncion St. Clair, CICERO – Center for International Climate Research, Oslo (participant: Göran Sundqvist, TIK, University of Oslo).

2011-2015 Dissemination of scientific knowledge as a policy instrument in climate policy. Funding agency: The Research Council of Norway. Project leader: Göran Sundqvist, TIK, University of Oslo.

2011–2014 InSotec – International Socio-Technical Challenges for Implementing Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste. Funding agency: EC/EURATOM FP7. Project leader: Anne Bergmans, University of Antwerp. Norwegian partner: University of Oslo (Göran Sundqvist).

Teaching and supervisions Sundqvist teaches environmental sociology and risk sociology on undergraduate level and STS on Master and PhD levels. He has been a supervisor for eight PhD theses (main supervisor for six). Currently he is the supervisor for three PhD students.

Outreach Sundqvist’s research on science-policy interactions in the environmental field are highly policy-relevant and have in several cases analysed how expert-driven and technocratic framings are contested by other actors. His research on nuclear waste management in Sweden and the European Union, during the last 25 years, has involved a number of central actors and communities designated in locations for national repositories of nuclear waste. An important part of this research is to foster public engagement in technical decision-making. Sundqvist has participated in several EU-funded projects, which are good examples of these ambitions.

Selection of most important publications


Soneryd, Linda & Sundqvist, Göran (2023) Science and Democracy: A Science and Technology Studies Approach. Bristol: Bristol University Press.

Sundqvist, Göran (2021) Vem bryr sig? Om klimatforskning och klimatpolitik [Who Cares? About Climate Research and Climate Politics]. Göteborg: Daidalos.

Soneryd, Linda & Sundqvist, Göran (red) (2019) Vetenskapligt medborgarskap [Scientific Citizenship]. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Sundqvist, Göran & Soneryd, Linda (2019) Vetenskap och demokrati [Science and Democracy]. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Lidskog, Rolf, & Sundqvist, Göran (eds) (2011) Governing the Air: The Dynamics of Science, Policy, and Citizen Interaction. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Lidskog, Rolf & Sundqvist, Göran (2011) Miljösociologi [Environmental Sociology]. Lund: Studentlitteratur.


Lidskog, Rolf & Sundqvist, Göran (2022) “Lost in Translation: The Paris Agreement, the IPCC and the Quest for National Transformative Change”. Frontiers in Climate 4:906054.

Barthe, Yannick, Meyer, Morgan & Sundqvist, Göran (2022) “Technical Problematisation: A Democratic Way to Deal with Contested Projects?”. Science, Technology and Society 27(1): 7-22.

Hermansen, Erlend A.T., Lahn, Bård, Sundqvist, Göran and Øye, Eirik (2021). “Post-Paris Policy Relevance: Lessons from the IPCC SR15 Process. Climatic Change 169(7): 1-18.

Barthe, Yannick, Elam, Mark & Sundqvist, Göran (2020) “Technological Fix or Divisible Object of Collective Concern? Histories of Conflict over the Geological Disposal of Nuclear Waste in Sweden and France”. Science as Culture 29(2): 196-218.

Sundqvist, Göran, Gasper, Des, St.Clair, Asunción Lera, Hermansen, Erlend A.T., Yearley, Steven, Tvedten, Irene Ø & Wynne, Brian (2018) “One World or Two?: Science-Policy Interactions in the Climate Field”. Critical Policy Studies 12(4): 448–468.

Lahn, Bård & Sundqvist, Göran (2017) “Science as a “Fixed Point”? Quantification and Boundary Objects in International Climate Politics”. Environmental Science and Policy 67: 8-15.

Sundqvist, Göran, Bohlin, Ingemar, Hermansen, Erlend & Yearley, Steven (2015) “Formalization and Separation: A Systematic Basis for Interpreting Approaches to Summarizing Science for Climate Policy”. Social Studies of Science 45(3): 416-440.

Lidskog, Rolf & Sundqvist, Göran (2015) “When Does Science Matter? International Relations Meets Science and Technology Studies”. Global Environmental Politics 15(1): 1-20.

Bergmans, Anne, Sundqvist, Göran, Kos, Drago & Simmons, Peter (2015) “The Participatory Turn in Radioactive Waste Management: Deliberation and the Social-Technical Divide”. Journal of Risk Research 18(3): 347-363.

Sundqvist, Göran (2014). “Heating Up” or “Cooling Down”? Social Scientists Analysing and Performing Environmental Conflicts”. Environment & Planning A 46(9): 2065-2079.