Johan Kärnfelt (b. 1963) is Associate Professor (docent) in History of Ideas and Learning and presently working at the Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion, Gothenburg University.
Kärnfelt's research has been done at the cross section between on the one hand the History of Science tradition, especially History of Astronomy, and on the other Science Communication Studies and Public Understanding of Science. His focus has been mainly on the 19th and 20th centuries and on Swedish material. He has done a number of major studies in this area, most recently on the public appropriation of astronomy.
Kärnfelt is, together with Gustav Holmberg, Lund University, currently working on a research project on the history of Swedish amateur astronomy (funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond). The main aim of the project is to study how the introduction of different information technologies has changed the circulatory practices within the amateur community and at the same time reformulated the relation between professional astronomers, amateurs and the general public. The project started January 2012 and will run for three years. A project blog (in Swedish) can be found here: www.amatorastronomi.wordpress.com.
Kärnfelt is also engaged at the Center for History of Science, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, to coordinate a larger research programme within the history of science. The five year programme is funded by Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg foundation, and was launched in January 2013. The programme, that engage a large number of Swedish scholars, aims at consolidating and to help develop the professional community of Swedish historians of science. The research project involved concerns the history of Swedish science in the modern era (the 18th to 20th centuries) and focuses on the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.