“We need more integrated perspectives of science and society.  My vision is an inter-faculty research and teaching platform integrated in European universities that inspires and fuels salient transdisciplinary research on societal transformative needs to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

– Dorothy J. Dankel, PhD


Dorothy J. Dankel (born 1979) is a researcher with an interdisciplinary marine science background. She incorporated a variety of scientific themes in her Ph.D. thesis “Building blocks of sustainability in marine fisheries management” including numerical modeling of marine fisheries strategies using harvest control rules. Part of her specialization in marine fisheries management includes research stays at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria.

Dankel began social science and humanities related research at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (Senter for Vitskapsteori, Faculty of Humanities) at the University of Bergen in 2010. During the “Reflexive Systems Biology” project funded by the Research Council of Norway, Dankel worked closely with a social anthropologist in synthetic biology labs in USA and applied social science and anthropology methods including ethnography and text analysis. From 2009-2015 Dankel chaired the ICES Working Group Fishery Systems (WGFS), and subsequently led the transition to Working Group Maritime Systems (WGMARS). In 2012 Dankel led the team that created a new institution for annual high-profile research dissemination with high school students called Forskningsdagene UNG (Researcher’s Night for High School students).

Since 2012, Dankel has been a board member of the Nordic Marine Think Tank ( Dankel is a co-editor for the Routledge textbook Management Science For Fisheries: An introduction to simulation-based methods, and has co-edited two special issues for the academic journal Futures on social and ethical topics of biotechnology, synthetic biology and society and Post-Normal Science in Practice (April 2017).

Dankel was invited to give a Talk @ Google lecture at Google’s Cambridge campus in May 2013 on integrated ocean assessments. She represented the University of Bergen as a “young innovative researcher” for the annual University of Bergen Christie Conference in 2015.

Currently, the consolidation phase of her research reveals compelling information in the science for policy realm. Dankel’s current work demonstrates an interdisciplinary framework to analyze the networks of scientists and policy-makers in marine Integrated Ecosystem Assessments. Dankel strives for new thinking in the marine sciences, including integration of the humanities into long-term management plans. Transdisciplinary perspectives of integrated assessments have the opportunity to advance the frontiers of knowledge and set a clear and inspirational target for research quality assurance of integrated assessments across Europe.

Her vision is a research and teaching platform on the topic of science for policy that is inter-faculty and integrated in European universities. Such work could inspire and fuel salient transdisciplinary research on societal needs and grand challenges, also aiding the university’s contract with society.