Annika Klæmintsdóttir Olsen

Annika Klæmintsdóttir Olsen


I am a sociologist and PhD fellow at Medical Museion, which is part of the Department of Public Health as well as the fourth research programme at the NFF Centre for Basic Metabolic Research (Cardiometabolic Research in Society and Culture). As a PhD fellow, I am a student in the graduate programme in Medicine, Culture and Society.



My PhD project investigates ‘research culture’ as a topic of growing interest and attention – in scientific practice, in academia, and in society more generally. Methodologically and theoretically, the project draws on fields such as sociology of knowledge, sociology of work, and science and technology studies.

Empirically, the project consists of two main strands. First, a series of qualitative interviews will be conducted to explore the experiences and perspectives of professionals working in the emergent field of ‘research culture work’ in the higher education sector – that is, initiatives set up by universities to examine and/or improve their research culture. The project’s second strand of research is an ethnographic study (combining document analysis, field observations, and interviews) that explores dynamics between knowledge production, (personal-)scientific ethos, and strategic goals at a bioscientific research centre in Denmark.



Most of my core research interests can be situated in relation to the sociology of knowledge: I am interested in the relationship between human thought and the social context in which it arises, as well as the influence of social life on the formation of ‘knowledge’ (in a broad sense of the word, including facts, ideas, values, beliefs, practices...). My research is often guided by a curiosity about the ways in which forms of knowledge (about science, politics, morality, etc.) – and contradictions between forms of knowledge – are experienced and negotiated by individuals and groups across different contexts and in different situations, as well as the way in which knowledge claims relate to discussions about identity, agency, and ethics.

Some of my main fields of interest are:

  • Social theory
  • Sociology of knowledge
  • History of science, history of ideas and concepts
  • Philosophy of science
  • Science and technology studies
  • Political sociology (the study of power and ideology; political action; social movements; the relationship between values and behaviour)
  • Political philosophy
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Social and political aspects of architecture
  • Design methods and design research



I hold a BA in Politics and Sociology from the University of Sussex and an MPhil in Sociology from the University of Cambridge. I have also completed a second BA in Architecture from the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen. In-between and after my studies, I have worked in public policy (in the UK) and as a research consultant specialised in the relationship between people and architecture (in Denmark). I also have many years of experience as a freelance translator.

I am originally from the Faroe Islands and am fluent in Faroese, English, and Danish.



I am a member of the Centre for Medical Science and Technology Studies (MeST), and I sit on the steering committee for the graduate programme in Medicine, Culture and Society.



October to December, 2023: Visiting PhD Student in the department of Science, Technology & Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh.

ID: 319452423