Columbia

RESEARCH CLUSTER: Environmental Sciences and Humanities

LED BY:
Professor of History Deborah Coen, Barnard College

 
DESCRIPTION:
This cluster brings together scholars in the ecological and earth sciences, economics, political science, anthropology, philosophy, history, geography, and literature, to explore the possibilities for an integrated approach to environmental problem-solving.  The paradigm of “integrated assessment” has combined the methods of the natural and social sciences to analyze the interactions between physical and human factors in environmental management. There is much to gain by expanding such collaborations to include scholars from the humanities and broadening the scope of the analysis.  A historical perspective, for instance, can illuminate how social and economic structures and forms of intellectual authority have altered the human relationship to the non-human world.  Philosophy can enable analysis of the competing values at stake in environmental politics and of the epistemological foundations of environmental knowledge.  Literary analysis can help to chart new possibilities for communicating about environmental issues. The goal of this cluster is to foster cross-disciplinary exchange and, ultimately, to generate collaborative research projects among scientists from Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology partnering with scholars of history, religion, anthropology, and economics.
 

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