I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

Arne Næass' Recommendations for Objective Public Debate

I was looking up Arne Næss, a Norwegian philosopher and environmental campaigner for another post and came across a set of 'rules' he formulated to ensure fair and objective discussion. They will all be familiar with anyone interested in philosophy, rhetoric and argument, but I see them being broken so often (often by myself, to my shame), that I thought they were worth repeating. 

1. Avoid tendentious irrelevance

Examples: Personal attacks, claims of opponents' motivation, explaining reasons for an argument.

2. Avoid tendentious quoting

Quotes should not be edited regarding the subject of the debate.

3. Avoid tendentious ambiguity

Ambiguity can be exploited to support criticism.

4. Avoid tendentious use of straw men

Assigning views to the opponent that he or she does not hold.

5. Avoid tendentious statements of fact

Information put forward should never be untrue or incomplete, and one should not withhold relevant information.

6. Avoid tendentious tone of presentation

Examples: irony, sarcasm, pejoratives, exaggeration, subtle (or open) threats.

Akershus Humanistisk Uke

Book Review: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes