We seek an ambitious postdoc to join our international team on the project “Exploring Greenland: Science and Technology in Cold War Settings”.

“Exploring Greenland” is a comprehensive four-year research project located at Aarhus University’s Department of Science Studies and funded by the Carlsberg Foundation. It aims to investigate the development of geophysical science and nuclear technology research activities in Greenland during the Cold War. Due to Greenland’s strategic importance as a stepping stone between the continents, the United States military as well as the Danish government invested heavily in scientific research on the island throughout the Cold War. The successful candidate will join a six-member international team exploring subprojects on geology, meteorology and climatology, glaciology, nuclear technology and ionospheric research. More information on the project can be found at http://ivs.au.dk/en/research/projects/greenland/.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the subproject “Geo-politics of the inner earth: Cold War seismological ventures in Greenland”. Seismological knowledge was critical for the detection of underground nuclear explosions during the Cold War. Consequently, the Eisenhower administration initiated a comprehensive R&D program in seismology, known as Project Vela Uniform, which included three stations in Greenland. The stations in Greenland were particularly important since there is little natural seismic activity in Greenland. This subproject aims to develop a robust understanding of Cold War seismology in Greenland, including Danish-American cooperation, geopolitical implications, and the development of scientific technologies. It will be based on extensive archival research in Danish, American and other international archives, as well as interviews and oral histories with relevant scientists. Publications from the “Exploring Greenland” project can be in English, Danish or other languages.

The position can be filled by a postdoc for a period of approximately two years. A competitive salary, as well as extensive conference and research funds, are offered. The successful candidate will join a strong department with robust research programs in the history of science, history of mathematics, philosophy of science, and public understanding of science. The Department of Science Studies operates in an English-language work environment, including department meetings and colloquia. Located on the Danish coast, Aarhus University boasts a large international student and staff population.


  • Postdoc postition: Experience in and a strong competence and publication record in the history of science or technology.
  • Knowledge of the Danish language or willingness to acquire Danish reading skills. Free Danish language classes are offered to all incoming researchers and their families on the Aarhus University campus.
  • Ability and willingness to work in an international research team and contribute to the common goals of the project.

Candidates with research experience in the history of Cold War science and technology are particularly encouraged to apply. Experience with and a good knowledge of Danish or Greenlandic history will be an advantage.

For more information, please contact Associate Professor Matthias Heymann at [email protected].

The full announcement is available at http://science.au.dk/en/positions-and-fellowships/academic-positions/.


All applications must be made online and received by: 15/08/2011
Please apply online here