Stanford University

A Social Science/Sustainability Incubator: Interdisciplinary Scholarship & Practice

Wednesday, Sep 15, 2021 10:00 AM
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A Social Science/Sustainability Incubator: Interdisciplinary Scholarship & Prac…


Faculty/Staff, Students

Sustainability Seed Grant Speaker Series

Join us for a new speaker series featuring some of the Stanford faculty who were recipients of the 2020 Accelerating Sustainability Research, Education, and Impact at Stanford and Beyond Seed Grants.

These projects demonstrate the ambition of the Sustainability Initiative in education, research, and impact and are the vivid example of what Stanford seeks to achieve within the new school.  The talks are schedued on Wednesdays, August 25 - September 22, 10:00 - 10:45 a.m. PDT on zoom and are open to the Stanford Community.

Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 15 to hear about the project:

A Social Science/Sustainability Incubator:  Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Practice to Amplify Impact and Redefine Solutions

Nicole Ardoin, associate professor of education; and James H. Jones, associate professor of Earth system science

Join us on Zoom: Access is limited to participants with a SUNET ID. 

At their core, sustainability issues are social. Developing actionable solutions to the rapidly changing climate, precipitous biodiversity loss, and other pressing environmental challenges requires deep, systematic understanding not only of biophysical processes, but also of cultural, political, and economic forces. In recognition of these complexities, interdisciplinary research and graduate training programs focused on the social and human dimensions of environment and global change have been expanding over the last two decades. Nonetheless, substantial barriers remain for preparing students with the robust, theoretically rigorous training needed to bring social-science orientations, approaches, and methods to bear on complex sustainability-related problems. Ongoing challenges include the siloing of biophysical science, social science, and the humanities within academia as well as the treatment of social science as an ‘add-on’ to natural science research. Due in part to these persistent barriers, social scientists remain underrepresented in key science-policy arenas, despite growing evidence of the importance of social sciences in sustainability research and decision-making. Motivated by this need and perspective, our year-long collaborative undertaking has explored the role of the social sciences in sustainability research and education, with the aim of helping support an institutional hub in the new school of climate and sustainability at Stanford. In this talk, we will discuss insights arising from our primary activities to date, including a 2.5-day-long listening session/gathering with social science scholars, ongoing interviews, and pilot courses. We’ll also invite input from colleagues on forthcoming activities, such as a forum/seminar on social sciences in sustainability.

For more information on the speaker series, click here.

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