An Interview with Kjersti Buaas

The List connected with Trøndelag’s Olympic World Snowboarder, Kjersti Buaas for issue #14 that came out at the start of 2017. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we thought we would give it another share!

Words by The List’s very own Jaya Thomlison.

Read the whole magazine here!

Photo: Nikol Herec

Kjersti Buaas, Body and Mind

Approximately 20 years ago in the small town of Klæbu, just outside of Trondheim, a girl raised in the outdoors tried out something new for the first time, and through love, passion and perseverance eventually became one of Trøndelag’s prized Olympic medal winners.

Kjersti Buaas is a rather known name for anyone that has followed the past four Olympic Winter Games. What you may not have known is that she is a proclaimed Trondheim ambassador. While residing in California for the time being, Kjersti makes it her mission to support others interested in outdoor sports to find a balance between their mind, body, and soul.

Kjersti, can you tell our readers about yourself?

I’m originally from Trondheim and I grew up doing a lot of different sports. I was introduced to snowboarding at the age of twelve when my older sister was trying it out and I wanted to be just like her, of course. Snowboarding was something that I fell in love with immediately. It felt creative and fun to move around and move my body in that way. I never set out with an ambition to create a career… but snowboarding has since become my job and profession. For the past eighteen years of I have been professionally competing, resulting in four Olympics, winning A bronze medal and a couple of silver medals as well. Winning golds in various X-games.

Photo: Nikol Herec

Yours is not the most common life-path, albeit incredibly inspiring. How did you initially get involved in competitive sports?

Something that Norwegians might underestimate is the benefit of being born in a place where people are encouraged to get outdoors and test their limits. Growing up in Trondheim, we had to get out of our comfort zones, whether it was the weather, or something else. I was also lucky to have role models and good people supporting me, including coaches and a national team. I have had a very nice support system from the start. That is really important when you are at the age when you are trying to find your inner strength.

It also feels kind of safe to be in Norway and to be a Norwegian as it’s a small country. I think that we can identify with one another easier because we are only 5 million or so. It has not been easy to find a clear path and everyone must experience the same. I mean, I have never really doubted that it’s what I wanted to do, though I never really decided ‘this is what I am going to do, I’m going to be a professional snowboarder and compete in the Olympics’. Luckily I had all of those people around me, without them I could not have done it.

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

As a female, what are were some of the mental breakthroughs you needed in order to engage in competitive sports?

I associate some of my drive to resiliency. Whether it’s just weather, cultural tradition or determination. This is all important. In the beginning, snowboarding gave me a new way to think, a new way live and to view myself. I was surrounded by female athletes, yet snowboarding has always been a very friendly sport. So even though we were competing against each other, we became really good friends. A key factor is finding your community. Being that snowboarding was a smaller community worldwide than other competitive sports, we weren’t afraid to share. We weren’t afraid to share strategies with each other were open about it. We pushed each other to watch documentaries about, let’s say food and agriculture, in order to learn what’s behind it. After seeing learning what happens in other places, such as American agriculture, I was shocked. My snowboarding community has helped me access education and knowledge so I that I could make conscious and good choices that would be good more me, and for the world.

Do you think that growing up in this region has had anything to do with your career path?

I grew up in a very active family and we always spent most of our time outdoors. That is to say, I had it in my blood and I loved it. I think that Trøndersk culture is very tough and strong. You know, it’s never really bad weather, we just go outside. In Norway, you will see people going to work on a bike in a rainstorm and it doesn’t matter. In other parts of California, they’ll say it is horrible weather when there is one cloud in the sky and wouldn’t consider riding a bike in the rain. I think that something so simple as coming from a culture where you are not afraid to face nature has helped me understand how to push my own limitations.

“There are no boundaries.”

I brought this outlook with me to into a male-dominated sport where at the time, girls were a token. When there was one spot on a snowboarding team for a girl and that spot was filled, we may have previously thought ‘it’s already taken’. I started challenging this. My upbringing encouraged me to change my way of thinking and follow my heart in order to solve the problem differently. I would try out for the team anyhow. I believed that if I followed mind, body, and soul, I could inspire other people. My perspective is, before the action, it’s just a thought. But everything changes once you start doing it. At some point, I realised my own power. Then I started realising that all anyone has to do is start thinking differently and seeing the potential for change. In that respect, being a professional athlete is simply a way to do life. The benefit is that you get to experience so many things, challenge yourself so intensively both in competition and under pressure.

Photo: Nikol Herec

Snowboarding is often considered a young person’s sport, though you grew up in Norway where you don’t have strong conforming factors related to age – people in their 60s and 70s are still climbing, skiing and are showing that body is actually a tool. What do you have to do to keep yourself healthy and competitive at over the age of thirty?

I’ve done a lot of different things within the sport and I’m still loving it. Yes, I’m still competing with all these teenagers as young as fourteen… and it is about breaking stereotypes. You might think that you need to retire from professional sports in your late 20s because that’s the norm. And then you realise that it’s just a norm and not the rule. I think that coming from a culture where you are free to keep working beyond ‘pension age’ if you choose to, affects you. People are inspired by their peers no matter the age, whether they are parents, grandparents or friends. We will always look to what is around us and draw inspiration from it. So for me, it became almost like a personal goal to see how my body will respond to competing at that level of snowboarding as I age because the sport can be pretty harsh and there can be a lot of impacts. Once I realised that I had to become more healthy in order to continue — when it comes to food, training, and everything going on in my mind — I started seeing so much potential and age didn’t matter anymore. It is a fun journey that I’m kind of creating on my own. There still aren’t that many snowboarders competing after their 20s.

How do you think your ego comes into play?

To be honest, it was probably eight or so years ago when I realised we had the term ‘ego’ and I started to contemplate it. I had certain sentiments and then thought, ‘wow, that’s my ego – that’s what it is.’ I was really lucky because my friends and I started a club and we called it ‘One Life’, which had the intention of being light-hearted in competition. A lot of people get really serious and their ego becomes very blatant and they don’t realise the impact. So ‘One Life’ tried to be aware of the ego. We intended to compete and have fun because isn’t that why we started doing this in the first place? We helped each other through this process and vowed to be a constant reminder to one another. We did silly things when we were younger like where animal hats – you know, you can’t get egotistical and be serious in an animal hat. Just try it. We had these little tools to help us to get through that phase and I think it is really important for people to reflect and look inside to remind themselves of what their ultimate motivation is. The more I learn about my ego, the more I’m able to see that I am unrestrained to be who I want to be. If at one point I did something I was not proud of, I can just shake it off and let it go.

Photo: Nikol Herec

Tips for keeping healthy and active, body and mind

We hosted a camp called ‘Presence Performance’ at Vassfjellet last January and will offer another in March. This was an all-day women’s snowboarding camp starting with yoga and meditation. The foundation of the camp is ‘face what brings yourself to its highest performance.’ If you want to be at the top of anything, the more present you are, the better you’ll be. This is something I have learned from the Olympics. Whenever I’ve done my best, it was because I was present. There are various techniques for breathing in the air, differentiating smell and sounds. We are also teaching participants what will give you the best fuel to perform the best. For me, it is very important to find a good balance between when I’m training and doing my thing, but also hosting things such as this camp. Because that is what really motivates me.

What does this region have to offer, what should they be proud about?

Be proud that you are growing up in a city that is surrounded by amazing forest and wildlife. Where else can you go less than five minutes outside of the city and go cross-country skiing and stay connected to nature? Deep down I think that this is why people in and around Trondheim have a lot of love in their hearts. I feel a lot of love. You don’t know everyone, but because of the size, you feel as if you could.

Quick Facts about Kjersti:     

  • Bronze medal at X Games Oslo 2016
  • 8th place for entire season, World Cup 2012/ 2013
  • Bronze medal at the Winter Olympics 2006
  • 4th place in half-pipe at the Winter Olympics 2002


The List’s contributor Zane Datava joined the crows for Kosmorama’s opening film yesterday. Here is what she had to say:

On Tuesday night after a sunny day in Trondheim, which brought a slight promise of spring, Prinsens Kino was filled with a cheerful atmosphere, plenty of marzipan cake, and loads of eager cinema lovers; regardless of the ice and snow on the streets.

No other opening film in the history of the Kosmorama has had so much attention surrounding it, as organisers mentioned before the film started. Almost all showings throughout the rest of the week are already sold out. To use the words of one of the narrators from the film: “what could be more exciting than to see ourselves”!

The film is full of love and appreciation for Trondhjem. It is colorful and nuanced and shows the city and its people through good times and bad, through struggles and joys. It is made from archived materials from Trondheim from 1906-1980 and illuminates the city through the stories of its people: Liv Ullmann, Odd Reitan, Håkon Bleken among others.

Highly recommended!

Skiing and Such

I think I read somewhere online that Norway did pretty well at the Winter Olympics (or just The Olympics as Norwegians call it). Cross-country skiing is part of Norwegian way of life, they’re born with skis on their feet, blah, blah, blah.

Watching all the action might have given you the boost you needed to get out there and glide on some snow, which we have a lot of currently. Here is a quick rundown on how to get out skiing like a local.

Photo: Anders Kallerud


Trondheim, like a lot of places in Norway, is surrounded by areas to go skiing; take a look at this map that shows some of the options.

Bymarka, Granåsen, and Strindmarka are the usual destinations for city-dwellers and recommended by them as well. These stops are close by and easily accessed via bus. Though double check the schedule to make sure you have time to enjoy your day.

Photo: Anders Kallerud

To get out to Bymarka just hop on Bus 10 to Skistua and, bob’s your uncle, you’re there.

For Granåsen, also home of our beautiful ski jump, Bus 19 to Sandemoen is what you want, hop off at Granåsen VM-Anlegget.

And Strindmarka: Bus 5 or 66 up to Dragvoll will have you skiing in no time at all.

Bymarka is recommended to new skiers as it is the easiest (the flattest) track, but it has some breathtaking natural views. On the other hand, Strindamarka and especially Granåsen have plenty of ups and downs, then some more ups and downs making them better suited to those with some experience or great will, to challenge themselves. Granåsen is extra cool because of the stadium and lights along the rack, which can give you feel of competitive ski racing.

Photo: Wil Lee-Wright Photography


If you’re interested in playing in the snow, but don’t own the equipment, two options come immediately to mind.

The first is to get in touch with Trondheim Skiklubb and renting everything you need and picking it up at the conveniently located Skistua.

Trondheim Kommune also has several locations that loan out sporting equipment; from skis to canoes and backpacks.


The List recommends bringing snacks; no matter what activity you are doing, but skiing in particular. For the authentic experience pack a Kvikklunsj, and orange or clementine, and some hot chocolate or coffee.

For clothing: pack light, but warm. Especially this week as it is supposed to pretty darn cold.

Bring some friends, bring a date, your dog, your kids, or take a few laps around the track solo. Skiing can be enjoyed by everyone and in many different ways.

Photo: Sondre Hovda Dahlskaas

Skiing is not the easiest hobby to pick up; it requires a type of balance and movements that are not found in everyday life. So a smile and good sense of humour are also good things to pack along with you.

Checking in at Dwarfheim

Pineleaf Studios, featured in The List’s issue #19, is in the process of building a video game.

After The List spent some time peepin’ around their office, we started to be fascinated by how much work goes into creating a video game.

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

When we last spoke to the guys and gals making Dwarfheim they were starting to enter some of the later stages of their games production, but to make the game run smoother and create a better experience they decided to rebuild the game with a more flexible framework they designed themselves.

Already they are back on track, and even ahead of schedule. The world they are building, and the characters that will inhabit it are looking stunning.

They gave us a first look at the Berserker character.

Image: Pineleaf Studio


After wandering around, looking over the shoulders of the game designers, artists, and others involved in the company it was incredible seeing how all the pieces come together. From turning sketches into 3D pieces of art, to coding and creating the way characters move.


Photo: Pineleaf Studio

The majority of the technical terms went over our heads, but a discussion with Fredrik Chrislock really stood out. He talked about implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into Dwarfheim – taking technology from other fields and bringing it into the gaming industry. The game will learn from the way humans play the game and make changes to keep things fresh and exciting.

Everyone at Dwarfheim had a lot to say about their game and the goals they want to accomplish with it.

“We want to create deep and innovative games. Looking at the game industry right now, we think there are a lot of things that are still untried”, Hans Klevin, the big man at Pineleaf Studios said.

The video game industry in Norway, and especially in Trondheim, is rapidly evolving. The List will certainly be following the progress of Pineleaf Studios and Dwarfheim!

The List Wants You!

Our small team here at The List is very proud to be representing our community in the capacity we do. It is our ongoing mission to provide engaging, relevant content and have a wide variety of voices to talk about the region. We want to represent a true flavour of what there is to be found here to do, be involved in and what is coming for our future. We are always amazed at all the things there are to learn, and after three years we know we have so much more to cover!

But, how do we make sure we have a lot of viewpoints and voices to accurately represent this vibrant and diverse community? How do we cover so many different things with such a small team? You! Our readers and fans. We rely on a strong base of contributors who share their opinions, passions, stories, photography, art, illustrations and other talents to fill the pages of each issue you see on the streets. We have some professionals, but we are so happy to be able to say that many of our contributors are our readers, students, and people who are all about reaching out to people. No professional qualifications needed, but passion, good quality work, willingness to learn and desire are.

Have you ever thought it would be fun to write for a magazine? Are you heavily involved in something we haven’t covered and should? If you consider yourself someone who has their finger on the pulse of things and wants to get the word out, by all means, let us know!

What about if you are not a writer? Have you ever read an article in the past, and doodled the story on a napkin wishing you could have done an illustration for it? Or thought of a great photo you would have taken? Or are you just curious about how we do what we do, but are not sure how you could be involved? Come and talk to us either in person or by email. From arts and culture to science and technology, we have space for all to join in.

Check out our issues from the past on ISSUU to get a full flavour of how diverse we are!

Feel free to email our Project Manager, Jennifer, at if you want to get involved.

Have a great weekend! And if you need something to do, check out our Listings Section!



Looking for something to do this weekend? Then check out Avant Garden’s Bastard Festival; it starts tomorrow and runs through the weekend.

This annual, performing arts festival seeks to surprise and prod its audience – and take a

You Look Like You // Photo by Efrat Mazor Goldberg


good, hard look at our global society in the process. The program for this year’s festival features dance, theatre, film, and every combination of them. Not to mention the artist talks, workshops, seminars, and other social events.

Each fall, The Bastard Festival presents some of the very best contemporary performing arts projects from the Norwegian and international independent art scene. We decided to talk with some of the festival organizers to find out more about some of the performances and find out which ones shouldn’t be missed.

Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster // Photo by Sarah Walker

The first suggestion was Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster: a dissection of human behaviour in regards to the complexities of intervention. The performance stems from an interaction the artist had with a man throwing stones at a duck. Branded as “stand-up choreography” this piece mixes dance and humorous text that is sure to appease.

Another to look forward to is (re)remember study – Trondheim. In this, the performance artists asks Trondheim locals to talk them around the city and take them to places with particularly fond memories associated with it. The walks are documented through various mediums; then in a live composition the stories are re-remembered and interpreted through the artistic meditations of the performers.

Bastard Festival offers something unique to the city of Trondheim, and while the artistic side of it may seem daunting, or perhaps too avant garde, to some, the experience is fantastic no matter your sensibilities.

MERCURIAL GEORGE SHOW / Photo by Jocelyn Michel

The stage is set at venues all across town: Teaterhuset Avant Garden, Trøndelag Teater, Olavshallen, Verkstedhallen, Trondhjems kunstforening, a storefront venue and festival bar, Moskus.


If you want to find out more about Bastard Festivalen you will find all the info on Avant Garden’s website, in our magazine and recent blog post where we interviewed theatre boss Per Ananiassen.


Stay up to date on what’s going on and what to do in Trondheim:

An Interview with Per Ananiassen, Theatre Boss of Avant Garden

Photo: Arne Hauge

Boss-man Wil Lee-Wright caught up with Avant Garden’s Per Ananiassen to talk about the venue’s planned change and the performing arts they showcase.

Avant Garden is planning to move to Rosendal Theatre. Why and when did you decide to change location?

The current location used to be a print shop for the city’s second newspaper, Arbeideravisa, the workers’ paper which went bankrupt in 1990. Within 5 years of being in this venue, we realised that it was too small and so we started to look for a bigger venue in 1998.

 So Avant garden has been looking for a new location for the better part of twenty years?! You are now able to move because you have managed to double the theatre’s budget in the last three years, the majority of which comes from subsidies from the ministry for culture and by the region (Sør Trøndelag Fylkeskommune and Trondheim Kommune). Is was the increased funding specifically for the new location or because of your increasing importance to the culture scene in Trondheim?

It was both reasons. I think the Department of Culture in Oslo has started to acknowledge the need of the programming theatres to consolidate and to become stronger. To have stronger artistic proposals and departments, and also that we need infrastructure. After all, we represent the national infrastructure for independent performing arts in Norway. Self financing only makes up about 17% of our budget. Funding makes it easier for us to plan and also to build the organisation.

Tell us more about the history of Rosendal – you must be very excited to have not only found a venue which suits Avant Garden’s practical needs, but one which has a history and name behind it.

It was a cinema built in 1921 by an American company. At that time, Trondheim was very small. Rosendal would have been well outside of town. There were cinemas in Trondheim but they were owned by the municipalities and it was illegal to have private cinemas.

They called it Rosendal Teatro, not kino, because it was regarded to be a little bit more upmarket. I am actually proposing that we change our name when we move there. ‘Avant Garden’ can be seen a little bit pretentious because it is relating to the historical avant garde in the arts. I sympathise with the avant garde movement because it was about making art accessible everywhere, and we are working with artists which have this kind of approach. Avant garde kind of means that you have been to some kind of promised land and you come back and tell. It is kind of old elite thinking in the arts. This was not necessarily intended by all artists in the historical avant garde movement, this is the way people regard it today: elitist.

We don’t want to be that. Avant Garden does not want to be part of the pop culture necessarily, but we use a lot of pop culture methods and media strategies. If you go to Rosendal, everyone knows what it is, where it is. It feels more accessible. We will still be what we are but we will be more than what we are.

The audience size will grow from 66 today to over 200 (and 100 in the smaller space). How important is it to fill the space and how will you accommodate the more marginal artists who do not require larger audiences?

There is some narrow art out there, people who are really taking big chances, experimenting with the new, something we have never seen before. Even I have problems understanding what they are doing, and I have been working in this business for a long time! I know that people have to have possibilities to show their art before they can develop. This is something we have to communicate to the audience too.

Avant Garden has a reputation for being quite cutting edge and for pushing the boundaries. So what will we be seeing at this year’s Bastard festival?

Anne Liv young; the way she is connected with the audience, which can be really hardcore and it’s really hard to be there. And Heine Avdal and Yukiko Sinozaki who are in our programme almost every year, who are super nice and super inviting. They are treating the audience with kindness and respect. In our time, that is also cutting edge! The bullies are ruining the world so some kind of inviting attitude and kindness and respect, can also be cutting edge. It is very much context which decides what is cutting edge.

In all the Bastard Festival programmes I have been responsible for over the years, I have never looked for the politically explicit expressions or projects. There is a lot of discourse going on, but what I am interested in the is the political potentiality in performing arts. Performing art per se is a political expression, because it always points at the nature of itself, namely the coming together of experiencing something together. Creating some kind of common platform and point of references so we can talk about something together. Today that is as important as ever before. Since this media revolution we have been though, we may have a lot to talk about but we talk about the headlines, but we do not talk about the depth of things. It is difficult to get out of the echo chamber.

We are building walls and we don’t allow any cracks to exist in the wall, and we are trying to cover up any cracks which do exist. I want this art festival to be one of the cracks in the wall. To paraphrase the film maker Morten Torvik, every wall has a crack and this is where spirit can come in.

Are other performances therefore more intense for the newcomer to the scene?

No not necessarily. Another highlight is we are opening the festival with Mia Habib’s A Song To…, a Norwegian choreographer from Haugusand. In this production she is choreographing 40 people; 16 professional dancers and 24 more (regular people). All of them are going to be naked on stage. If you want to be part of that you can, if you are willing to take your clothes off in front of the audience!

Are you asking me?! Well… can people still get involved?

You will have to check the status of how many people are signed up.

Also, on Saturday there is an Australian performer called Nicola Gunn with Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster. She has made a production which is beautiful, fantastically well performed production. She tells a story while she is doing very intricate movements, very choreographed dance moves, and that the same time she is telling a story which raises some ethical questions. What is interesting is thane one hand it is very experimental piece but on the other hand it is a very relatable story. The complexity comes from the movement she is doing combined with the story.

For me, this is what Bastard festival is about. It is a chance too create a another way of reflecting. What you see is not always what you get in theatre. It is a visual art but it is only a tool for conveying something what is happening under the surface.


Stay up to date on what’s going on and what to do in Trondheim:

#24: Pstereo

From serious music lovers, hipsters, and those between the ages of 18 to 50, Pstereo is the big happening in Trondheim this summer. The festival provides both a rare meeting spot for the 30 to 40 somethings with babysitters, and spaces for those who follow closely what is happening on all the separate stages. Musically, its variety gives something for everyone through a blend of fresh indie and rock while throwing in some nostalgia for the “grown-ups”. In its eleven years of existence, Pstereo has had a lot of amazing acts. I’m most looking forward to seeing shoegaze legends Slowdive (UK), Swedish rapper Silvana Iman, and melodic indie pop masters Beach Fossils (US). The ever energetic and exciting Cymbals Eat Guitars (US) will make a most welcome return to the festival. And you certainly don’t wanna miss the local rising stars Pom Poko, who look set for a UK breakthrough this year!

Words by Vegard Enlid, Journalist at Adresseavisen

Photos by Wil Lee-Wright

#93:A Glass of Sunshine

You know the feeling of complete bliss after a sunny day? Well, in Trondheim you will never be guaranteed sunshine, but you can have the Sellanraa lemonade which is basically the same thing. It has the perfect ratio of sweet and sassy; it is refreshingly cold and served with a mint leaf completing that summer vibe.

Words by Siri Solheim-Kristiansen, Coordinator for Red Cross

Starmus IV, Day Five: No more facts or reports needed.

So I am going to be really honest: I think my brain is about to revolt. My brain is just so overstimulated at this point. My problem is that this is a mental sprint and a marathon at once, and I hadn’t seen that coming. I don’t think I would ask Starmus to be less than it is despite the overload.

Let´s go to where I started off the day because for me it was a brilliant start and ended with the other session I loved. It´s an interesting thing to sit and hear a premier scientist say no more facts and no more reports are needed to change the tide of those who stand in opposition to climate change…or really any science. Frankly, the same can be said for how we argue politics and religion at current. It isn’t to say she was saying stop publishing, more to stop using reports and studies to bash people over the head as a way to get them to see the light. Or, if not bashing them, assuming their brains are empty of these fact, like a bowl, and then trying to being helpful, pouring facts in like cereal for them to snack on. The thing is, apparently, is there is already cereal in the bowl and we just didn´t recognize it because it doesn’t look like what we think it should. Short and sweet: Stop with the frontal assault.

Katharine Hayhoe´s talk is one I have been waiting for. Having committed the sin of being a liberal pourer of facts into the atmosphere of various social medias (and friend’s heads), I feel like I was combating the issue of ignorance and flat out refusal to learn more. It´s not that people aren´t learning. They are. It just is a different set of facts, figures, or if the same, changed by belief. But how could those beliefs be so different from my own? Because of one thing that I didn’t consider; they are not denying science, they are denying based off of paying a price for changing which they don’t want to pay. It´s about perceived cost; financial, emotional, loss of community and so forth. Another person’s values changing their perception I have always understood, but not in the context that the cost influencing their ability to stand behind that which is true, rational and general consensus.. This isn’t to say that I don’t recognize the politicians saying one thing while knowing better, because of agendas from those paying into their PACs and the like. That has never been an unclear motive for their actions. It´s more the average person I didn’t think of it in that context.

Photo: Kai T. Dragland / NTNU

The idea we need to give value propositions instead of looking as though we are “costing them” something, and assuage fears with what they will gain seemed so logical when explained by Katherine. I don’t if anyone else found themselves thinking “duh!”, but I certainly was. Her proposals of how to laterally communicate were exactly what I have been looking. They are learnable ideas for those who I know mean well but, like myself, are contributing to the overall communication breakdown between believers and deniers. I thanked her most wholeheartedly for the talk. I cannot wait to look up more of her talks online.

There was a rather abrupt change in direction to how little we know of the oceans and how much we know about space with Nancy Knowlton´s talk. It did make me realize that for someone who loves the ocean as much as I do, I don’t think about what is happening to it as much as a I should.  And then it changed directions once more with Emmanuelle Charpentier´s talk on CRISPR. Admittedly this is the point I couldn’t focus and ended up having some conversations with others about how they felt the festival was going.

Photo: Julie Gloppe Solem / NTNU

The attendees are more than thrilled with this whole week´s programming and how amazed they are by the breadth of information, disciplines and all out fun they are having. A few of the staff members from different areas had nice things to say about working with such a diverse group of volunteers and organizations to make this happen. The potential for Starmus from here, as it´s still growing, is completely understood and there are going to be some really sharp minds working on making it an even better experience.

The panel that ended the day was marvelous. A truly fascinating and fantastic conversation. Outreach and education to encourage a more well rounded and deep fundamental understanding of science from a young age is something we cannot talk about enough. Moreover, the idea that we need to critically think about how we allow skeptics and deniers to have equal weight because of “playing fair” in journalism was something I was overjoyed to hear Alex Witze say out loud. Her unapologetic knock-that-off was refreshing and something that is worth repeating everywhere by all of us. We don’t need to give those peddling a bunch of bull their 15 minutes of fame because they think that  freedom of speech or political correctness should dictate it to be so. Applause for her statement was thunderous.

Photo: Thor Nielsen / NTNU

I enjoyed the way the panel discussed using play more, using things that can be taken apart and put back together to encourage curiosity, and as a mean to teach critical thinking without shoving it down as a lecture. Having been a child of the pre-internet age and one who had parents who did not allow cable tv or super commercial toys, I am grateful now for the art supplies, microscopes, real tools, heaps of books and time allowed to be spent dissecting the world. I can enthusiastically and emphatically say the recipe they concocted was entirely the right one, and a childhood all children should get to live.


I did find myself wanting to shout out one thing at the end. When David Eicher, the moderator, asked what the six panelist would tell a 10 year old girl to keep her engaged in STEM subjects no one, despite their rich and encouraging messages, said the one thing I desperately wanted to hear. This applies to both girls and boys looking at going into career fields that are seen as gender biased. The statement is this: Whatever is or isn’t between your legs indicating your physical birth gender, does not affect the quality of, intelligence of, or integrity of what is between your ears.

I have to say though, especially in a world that often says study that which will earn you the most, May-Britt Moser saying follow your passion made me really happy. Norwegians know better than anyone else that following your passion, making that passion what you do and then doing it to its utmost potential is a way to create a well-rounded successful life. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the best lessons we can give the small humans heading into their futures.

Photo: Thor Nielsen / NTNU