Richard Ling receives Research and Innovation Award

Sociologist and Telenor R&I researcher Richard Seyler Ling is awarded the 2008 Telenor Research and Innovation Award for his ground-breaking work on the social implications of mobile communication.

Written: Oct 2008

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dr. Ling receives the NOK 250,000 award at the Technoport Festival in Trondheim, Norway, this week after a unanimous decision by the jury.

“Through his work, Dr. Ling has examined the mobile phone in terms of diffusion, ownership, use and social consequences. He has examined how this device changes our sense of coordination, how it affects language use in SMS, how it plays into our sense of social cohesion, how teens adopt and use the device and also how it can be a disturbance in to the public sphere,” the jury says in its statement.

“New tech, new ties”

How does the cell phone change our lives? Can it forever change the way we communicate? In his research and widely acclaimed publications, Dr. Ling has examined the mobile phone and its social consequences, showing deep understanding of sociological and also technological topics. Ling has been published and interviewed in a number of media, e.g. the New York Times, Newsweek, Der Spiegel and the Discovery Channel.

Creating academic interest

The Jury has also noted Ling’s contributions on developing mobile communication studies as an area of academic interest. Both as a researcher, author, peer reviewer, teacher, advisor, editor and conference organizer he has contributed to the broader academic study of mobile communication in the academic sphere.

Members of the jury and the prizewinner: Mads Christoffersen, Terje Ormhaug, Rich Ling, Berit Svendsen and Gunnar Stette.Photo: Carl-Erik Eriksson

About the Telenor Research and Innovation Award

  • Established in 1997 to stress the importance of research and innovation in the formation of our future society and to encourage efforts in the field.
  • Handed out once a year, the award consists of NOK 250,000 and a diploma granted to outstanding contributors to R&I.
  • For each year, the international jury chooses a specific scope for the award. This year’s theme was “the impact of internet and communications technology on the home and consumer environment.”

About Richard Seyler Ling

  • Ph.D in sociology and senior research scientist at Telenor R&I.
  • Originally from the US, Ling has held various academic positions. Currently he is also guest professor at the IT University of Copenhagen.
  • Author of various books, notably New Tech, New Ties: How mobile communication is reshaping social cohesion (MIT Press, 2008) and The Mobile Connection: The cell phone’s impact on society (2004).

For photo inquiries from the Technoport Festival in Trondheim, Norway, please contact Maria Nordström, Press Contact in Technoport, Tel: (+47) 951 68028, e-mail: .
For more information about the Telenor Research and Innovation Award, please contact:

Knut Sollid, Director of Communications, Telenor Norway
Tel.: +47915 98288

Jeanne Terjesen, Director of Communications, Telenor Research & Innovation
Tel.: +47901 29958