Challenging the scientific legacy of Johan Hjort: Is it time for a new paradigm shift in marine research?

By Vera Schwach

ICHO and the Hjort Centre for Marine Ecosystem Dynamics, Bergen, Norway, is organizing a combined marine science and history of marine science symposium:

In 2019 we will celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the birth of Johan Hjort (1869-1948). His research was foundational to the development of modern fisheries science. In particular, Hjort’s understanding of the importance of strong and weak year classes in fish population structure and productivity revolutionized fisheries management. Though new scientific methods and instrumentation have since refined Hjort’s theory, modern understanding of the environmental factors that regulate stock dynamics (e.g. recruitment and migration dynamics) remains nevertheless incomplete for there is still great uncertainty in stock projections. Moreover, today’s holistic scientific approach, including an attention to ecosystems dynamics and on-going changes in the marine environment, necessitates trans-disciplinary cooperation. In order to move forward, the current situation requires a dedicated search for new ideas and a new scientific framework. To stimulate and explore new directions in a free and creative atmosphere, in the spirit of Hjort, we invite marine researchers and historians of marine science to gather at the 2019 Bergen symposium, at the same place where Hjort launched his paradigm-changing publication in 1914. Further details, including information about the program, grants, and the call for papers will be announced in the spring of 2017.

Dates: 12.06.2019–14.06.2019 with a welcome reception on the evening of June 11th.

Venue: Hotel Scandic City Bergen, Bergen Norway

Steering Committee: Olav Sigurd Kjesbu, Hjort Centre of Bergen, Norway; Vera Schwach, vice president of ICHO / NIFU, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, Oslo, Norway, and Jennifer Hubbard, Department of History, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

For information on Hjort centre for marine ecosystem dynamics, please see:

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