Interdisciplinary Seminar: Dr Sophie Adams (UNSW) presenting on interdisciplinarity in discourses of climate change adaptation

About this Event

Please join us for the next SSN Interdisciplinary Seminar with Dr Sophie Adams from the UNSW Environmental Humanities group. The seminar presentation will include a short panel discussion with two invited respondents from STEM and HASS who will provide their disciplinary perspectives on the topic.

Light refreshments will be provided, please RSVP for catering purposes.

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A ‘pragmatic holism’: the logic of integration in the adaptation of social-ecological systems to a changing climate

This paper examines the promise of the concept of the coupled social-ecological system for understanding and responding to the challenges of global environmental change, and in particular the appeal of its logic of the integration of previously distinct entities and perspectives within a unified whole. This concept, which underpins the interdisciplinary fields of Earth systems science and governance and is a powerful motif of thinking about the Anthropocene, is also at the core of an approach to adaptation to climate change impacts which calls for the participation of a range of actors and the integration of their knowledges – scientific and lay, Western and traditional, and from across the natural and social sciences. I discuss how the holism of this approach affords recognition of the knowledges of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, who are increasingly viewed as experts in survival, while it also circumscribes the scope of this recognition.

About the speaker:

Dr Sophie Adams is a human geographer and Science and Technology Studies scholar who has recently completed a PhD at the University of New South Wales. Her research examines approaches to human adaptation to environmental change, investigating their origins in evolutionary theory and systems ecology as well as their contemporary politics in the context of anthropogenic climate change.

About the respondents:

Lauren Rickards is an Associate Professor at the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies where she co-leads the Climate Change Transformations Research Program in the Centre for Urban Research. She is a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group Two report on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation. With a background in both the physical and social sciences, her research centres on climate change adaptation, including the knowledge politics involved. She has conducted research on doing interdisciplinarity and is currently researching ‘research impact’.

Second respondent TBC