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Michael Bernstein

Michael Bernstein

Scientist, GenØk Centre for Biosafety, Tromsø, Norway

+47 77 64 66 20

Siva Innovation Center
GenØk – Centre for Biosafety
Postboks 6418
9294 Tromsø,


  • Senior Sustainability Fellow, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Scientist, GenØk Centre for Biosafety, Tromsø, Norway


Michael is a scientist at GenØk Centre for Biosafety in Tromsø, Norway. He studies ways that science and engineering education, research practice, and policy may be shaped to reflect long-term societal interests. At GenØk he coordinates a work package and manages two groups on the European Commission newly funded Horizon 2020 project, "NewHoRRIzon: Excellence in science and innovation for Europe by adopting the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation."

Examples of Michael’s work include supporting the Expert & Citizen Assessment of Science & Technology (ECAST) network’s efforts to use “citizen participation, collaboration and expert analysis to inform and improve decision-making” on siting nuclear waste; evaluating Science Outside the Lab, a policy immersion program to help PhD scientists and engineers learn about the relationships between science and government in the U.S.; and analyzing efforts by the U.S. Global Change Research Program to organize for usable science. Michael served as a research associate with the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University. Throughout his career, he has worked to bridge scientific research and policy practice, supporting projects on climate preparedness, resilience, and adaptation led by the U.S. White House Council on Environmental Quality and by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Michael earned his Ph.D. in sustainability at Arizona State University, and holds a B.A. from Amherst College, where he majored in geology.


  • PhD, Sustainability, Arizona State University, 2016
  • BA, Geology, Amherst College, 2008


Journal Articles


Bernstein, M. J., A. Wiek, K. Brundiers, K. Pearson, A. Garinger, B. Kay and A. Golub. 2016. Mitigating urban sprawl effects: A collaborative tree and shade intervention in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 21(4):414-431. DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2014.965672. (link )

Wiek, A. D., R. W. Foley, D. H. Guston and M. J. Bernstein. 2016. Broken promises and breaking ground for responsible innovation -- intervention research to transform business-as-usual in nanotechnology innovation. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 28(6):639-650. DOI: 10.1080/09537325.2015.1129399. (link )


Bernstein, M. J., R. W. Foley and I. Bennett. 2014. An operationalized post-normal science framework for assisting in the development of complex science policy solutions: The case of nanotechnology governance. Journal of Nanoparticle Research 16:2492. DOI: 10.1007/s11051-014-2492-1. (link )


Wiek, A., M. J. Bernstein, M. D. Laubichler, G. Caniglia, B. Minteer and D. J. Lang. 2013. A global classroom for international sustainability education. Creative Education 4(4A):19-28. DOI: 10.4236/ce.2013.44A004. (link )


Basile, G., M. J. Bernstein and S. G. McNall. 2012. Editorial: Trust, sustainability, and political innovation: A new reality for our future. Sustainability, the Journal of Record 5(3):123-126. (link )

Bernstein, M. J. and B. Boyer-White. 2012. Challenges and dynamics of urbanization: A TSR inteview with Dr. Karen Seto (Part I). The Sustainability Review 3(3):. (link )

Book Chapters


Harlow, J., M. J. Bernstein, B. Girod and A. D. Wiek. 2016. Consumption and sustainability. Pp. 293-301 In: Heinrichs, H., P. Martens, G. Michelsen and A. D. Wiek eds., Sustainability Science: An Introduction. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-7242-6_24. ISBN: 978-94-017-7241-9. (link )

Wiek, A. D., M. J. Bernstein, R. W. Foley, M. C. Cohen, N. Forrest, C. Kuzdas, B. Kay and L. Withycombe Keeler. 2016. Operationalizing competencies in higher education for sustainable development. Pp. 241-260 In: Barth, M., G. Michelsen, M. Rieckmann and I. Thomas eds., Routledge Handbook of Higher Education for Sustainable Development. Routledge. London and New York. ISBN: 9780415727303.



Bernstein, M. J. 2016. Towards useable science: The case of the US Global Change Research Program. Poster presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, 11-15 February 2016, Washington, DC. (link )


Bernstein, M. J. 2015. Science outside the lab: changing perspective on the role of science & engineering society. Poster presented at the AAAS 2015 Annual Meeting: Innovations, Information, and Imaging, 12-16 February 2015, San Jose, California. (link )


Pollard, L., M. Sampson, M. Palta, M. Bernstein, T. Combs, X. Dong, S. R. Earl, N. B. Grimm, R. L. Hale, A. Handler, C. Kochert, J. McGehee, E. Holland, M. Ribot, D. Shorts, A. Suchy and E. Worth. 2014. Greenhouse gas emissions in an urban environment. Poster presented at the 16th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientists Meeting, January 2014, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

Reifschneider, K. and M. J. Bernstein. 2014. Science outside the lab: Reporting on a science policy education intervention. Poster presented at the Science and Technology Policy Gordon Research Conference: Systems Approach to Research and Practice, 10-15 August 2014, Waterville, NH. (link )



Bernstein, M. J. 2016. Towards useable information: A study of the US Global Change Research Program. Presentation at the US Global Change Research Program Office, 16 March 2016, Washington, DC.

Foley, R. W., M. J. Bernstein, L. Withycombe Keeler and J. Harlow. 2016. Urban planning and techno-science: Exploring knowledge asymmetries and future imaginaries––The case of self-driving cars.. Presentation at the 4S/EASST Conference BCN-2016, Aug 31-Sep 3, 2016, Barcelona, Spain. (link )


Bernstein, M. J. 2015. An intervention research approach to responsible innovation. Presentation at the Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy, 17-19 October 2015, Atlanta, Georgia. (link )

Bernstein, M. J. 2015. Intervention research for responsible innovation: A pragmatic approach. Presentation at the STGlobal 2015:, 10-11 April 2015, Washington, DC. (link )

Bernstein, M. J. and R. W. Foley. 2015. Assessing the public value of science policies: Lessons from the US Global Change Research Program and the US National Nanotechnology Initiative. Presentation at the S.Net International Conference 2015, 18-21 October 2015, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (link )


Bernstein, M. J. 2014. Cross-scale comparisons of urban sustainability strategies: Environmental science, technology and urban policy implications (panel). Presentation at the DuPont Summit on Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, 5 December 2014, Washington, DC. (link )

Bernstein, M. J. 2014. Intervention research for the design of transition tactics to responsible innnovation. Presentation at the Society of the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies S.NET 6th Annual Meeting, 21-24 September 2014, Karksruhe, Germany. (link )

Bernstein, M. J., R. W. Foley and I. Bennett. 2014. Guidelines for solutions to socio-technical problems. Presentation at the STGlobal Consortium, 4-5 April 2014, Washington, D.C.

Foley, R. W. and M. J. Bernstein. 2014. Normative principles to guide the process of responsible innovation. Presentation at the Situating Solidarities: Social Challenges for Science and Technology Studies, 17-19 September 2014, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland. (link )

Harsh, M., S. Cozzens, J. M. Wetmore, M. J. Bernstein, R. Castillo, T. Woodson, D. Soumonni and R. Cortes-Lobos. 2014. Postgraduate training as a space to shape the interface between emerging technologies and development: A short course approach. Presentation at the The Closing Conference of the Nanotechnology for Development Conference, 15-17 December 2014, Maastricht, University, Brussels, Belgium.


Bernstein, M. J. 2013. Education initiatives: The global classroom experiment and sustainability science education for teachers. Presentation at the Tech de Monterrey and Global Institute of Sustainability ASU Education Exchange, 9-12 June 2013, Mexico City, United Mexican States.

Foley, R. W., M. J. Bernstein and Y. Kim. 2013. Ground control: linking top-down and bottom-up approaches for international nanotechnology governance. Presentation at the First Annual Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies: Law, Policy and Ethics, 20-21 May 2013, Chandler, Arizona.


Bernstein, M. J., B. T. Jordan and J. T. Cheney. 2008. Rhyolite petrogenesis at the Tertiary Arnes central volcano, northwestern Iceland. Presentation at the KECK Geology Consortium 21st Annual KECK Research Symposium Short Contributions, (link )

Amherst Memorial Fellowship, Amherst College, 2014

Amherst Memorial Fellowship, Amherst College, 2013

Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative Scholarship, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, 2013

John Woodruff Simpson Fellowship, Amherst College, 2012

White House Council on Environmental Quality, Energy and Climate Change Intern, Summer 2012