Kirsten Hasberg

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Oct 2020-Oct 2021)

Kirsten Sophie Hasberg holds a PhD from Aalborg University in Denmark on the role of power/ignorance in carbon lock-in. Her work focuses on why the global use of fossil fuels continues to increase when the urgency of a transformation to renewable energy is obvious.

She earned a MSc in Economics from the University of Copenhagen in 2009 and has gained more than 10 years experience in the Danish and German energy sectors, including employment with the Danish Transmission System Operator Energinet and with parliamentary groups of the Danish Folketing and the German Bundestag. As an independent consultant, she has advised such organizations as Siemens Transmission, Mercedes Benz R&D North America, as well as the Danish District Heating Association, and evaluated grant applications for the European Horizon 2020 program and the Irish Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund. 

Her teaching portfolio includes energy transition-related courses at the University of Kassel in Germany and the University of Roskilde in Denmark, as well as an information systems-related module on Digital Technology and New Business Models at the IT-University of Copenhagen. In 2018 to 2019, she was a visiting researcher at the Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment (IRI THESys) at Humboldt University. 

She engages in public energy humanities as a science communicator and has co-produced art/science crossovers such as energy satire and a documentary film on the energy transition. Most recently, she co-performed a climate lecture concert at the Roskilde Festival 2019. 

Her dissertation is a contribution to the emerging field of energy humanities. Building on the tradition of phronetic social science, two case studies of blockchain technology and of the Danish-British interconnector project Viking Link form the basis for studying conflicts over de- and recentralization inside thought collectives. Theoretically, it draws the philosophy of technology of Martin Heidegger, the comparative epistemology of Ludwik Fleck, and two Foucault-inspired neologisms denoting infrastructured forms of power, energopower, and infopower, as well as the emerging field of ignorance studies. Hasberg argues that power interlocks with ignorance and becomes power/ignorance, when this is beneficial to powerful groups. In particular, the role of mainstream economic reasoning and the related calculative devices is explored. Thus, power/ignorance can serve as a sociotechnical veil that counteracts the transition processes towards low carbon energy and information systems. 

Her current research interests include public energy humanities and the role of the history of economic thought in the energy impasse. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Hasberg lives in Berlin.