Gunnerus Award 2021 to Jianguo Liu


Award Ceremony 21 September 7:30 p.m., Frimurerlosjen

Concert – Trondheim Chamber Music Festival

Trondheim Soloists
Trine Knutsen, flute
Marianne Thorsen, violin
Håkon Magnar Skogstad, piano
Erling With Aasgaard, cembalo
Geir Inge Lotsberg, artistic leader


Hyfer Festival opening

Opening of Hyfer, NTNU’s futures festival
by Rector Anne Borg


Gunnerus Award Ceremony

Jianguo Liu receives the Gunnerus Award 2021,
by President DKNVS May Thorseth and Rector  NTNU Anne Borg



Join the Hyfer Afterparty at Sellanraa and Kunsthall Trondheim, after the official opening of Hyfer! Advance registration Afterparty. 

Logo Gunnerus Sustainability Award

Jianguo Liu, Gunnerus Award Laureate 2021. The prize ceremony has been postponed from 2021, due to the Covid 19 pandemic. See 2021 press release.
Photo: Michigan State University

Gunnerus Award seminar 22 September 09-12, Rådssalen

Jianguo Liu:
Pandas, People and Planetary Sustainability

How could a rise in the divorce rate threaten the Chinese giant panda? Professor Jianguo (Jack) Liu will talk about that – and other connections between people and nature – in his Gunnerus Award lecture. A holistic approach to sustainability is at the core of Professor Liu’s research. He coined the groundbreaking concept of “telecoupling”, and will tell us more about what this entails in his lecture.

Professor Liu holds the “Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability” at Michigan State University, where he also is director of Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability.

Francesca Verones:
How does a life-cycle approach help to address biodiversity impacts?

Francesca Verones is Professor at Department of Energy and Process Engineering at NTNU. Dr. Verones’ work is related to developing models for projected impacts on aquatic, marine and terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. Human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems call for novel methods to assess, quantify, and spatially differentiate their extent and consequences. Verones focuses on advancing the field of life cycle assessment (LCA) to improve and complement this widely used assessment approach.

Elizabeth Barron:
Listening to the voices of sustainability

Elizabeth Barron is Associate Professor at the Department of Geography at NTNU. Dr. Barron’s research interests are broadly on understanding different knowledge systems for addressing human-environment challenges in the areas of conservation and resource management, alternative economics, and sustainability. Her current research is on place-based sustainability theory and practice. From 2018-2021 she is serving as a coordinating lead author for an IPBES Assessment on the Sustainable Use of Wild Species.

Panel discussion moderated by Ruth Astrid Sæter


Panel participants: Jianguo Liu, Elizabeth Barron, Francesca Verones and May Thorseth.

Kirsti Huke (vocals) and Bjørn Marius Hegge (double bass) are musicians from the highly merited jazz education at NTNU. They will perform at the seminar. Photos: K.Huke: Lena Knutli, B.M.Hegge: Hegge 

Rådssalen is situated in NTNU’s main building, Høgskoleringen 1. Photo: Maren Agdestein/NTNU

Jianguo Liu
Photo: Michigan State University

Foto av Ruth Astrid Sæter

Francesca Verones. Photo: Lars R. Bang. 

Foto av Ruth Astrid Sæter

Elizabeth Barron. Photo: Elin Iversen. 

Foto av Ruth Astrid Sæter

Ruth Astrid L. Sæter chairs the Gunnerus Seminar. Sæter is a former journalist. Since 2009 she has worked within the field of communication, primarily focusing on climate, energy and the environment.

Foto av Ruth Astrid Sæter

May Thorseth is Professor of Philosophy and President of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS). Dr. Thorseth participates in the panel discussion following the lectures at the Gunnerus Award Seminar on 22 September. Photo: Thor Nielsen. 

Foto av Ruth Astrid Sæter

Anne Borg was appointed rector of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2019. Borg heads NTNU’s academic and administrative activities. Rector Borg presents the Gunnerus Award to Prof. Liu together with DKNVS President May Thorseth on 21 September. Photo: NTNU





Join the free Gunnerus Award Seminar

Learn more about sustainability science and research!

The Gunnerus Award Seminar is open to the public.

Gunnerus Award info

About the Gunnerus Award


The Gunnerus Award in Sustainability Science is an international research prize of NOK 1 million. The Gunnerus Award was founded by the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters and awarded for the first time in 2012. From 2017, it has been jointly awarded every other year with NTNU.

The award honors outstanding scientific work for global sustainable development, and aims to promote research and strengthen the scientific basis of sustainability.

Previous winners include biologist Kamal Bawa (2012), environmental researcher Carl Folke (2017), ecology professor Sandra M. Díaz (2019), ecology professor and conservationist Jianguo Liu (2021). 


Logo Gunnerus Sustainability Award

The conferring institutions and Johan Ernst Gunnerus

The international Gunnerus Sustainability Science Award is a collaboration between the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS) – Norway’s oldest scientific institution and the original founder of the prize, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology – Norway’s largest university. The prize is awarded every two years.

The founding father of DKNVS was bishop Johan Ernst Gunnerus (1718-1773) who became Norway’s first internationally acclaimed naturalist. His legacy is still very much felt in Norway and Trondheim today, the city from which he led the Society. Thus, the Award is named in his honor, as the Gunnerus Award in Sustainability Science.

Contact information

The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters
Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskab (DKNVS)

Elvegata 17, 7012 Trondheim, Norway
Telephone: +47 94 78 79 78
E-mail: post AT
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