The SGR Responsible Science Conference 2019
The Gallery, Farringdon, London, UK, EC1M 6EL
The threat of climate breakdown is now accepted as endangering human civilisation. We have science and scientists to thank for our understanding of this challenge. In particular, the recent special report of the IPCC on what it will take to stay below the 1.5 degree warming target concludes that, ‘rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes will be needed in all areas of society.’ This obviously includes science and scientists themselves, even more so given the privileged insight and understanding of the problem that they have.
Research on behaviour change shows how important and influential is the modelling of behaviour – people being seen to act differently – to validating, popularising and spreading new ways of living, and in this case with reducing our climate and environmental impact. New social norms emerge from the effect of positive ‘social contagion’. But how far has the science community itself, even the community around climate science, gone to align its activities and own behaviour with the climate challenge? Does it matter if there is a gap between their analysis, a recognition of the problem and what they actually do in their lives and work? If there is a damaging gap between the analysis, professed values of planetary concern and actual behaviour, how can it be closed?
The SGR Responsible Science Conference 2019 explored these questions with leading speakers and interactive sessions. It looked at the potentially greater role that science and scientists can play in preventing climate breakdown, by setting examples for more sustainable behaviour.
The speakers and presentations were as follows - with some material available to download:
- Prof Kevin Anderson, Universities of Manchester/ Uppsala
Hope from despair: transforming delusion into action on climate change
- Prof Lorraine Whitmarsh, Cardiff University
Behaviour change: dealing with four key challenges
- Prof Bill McGuire, University College London
Global heating and climate catastrophe
- Andrew Simms, Scientists for Global Responsibility
The environmental behaviour of scientists - see blog and new SGR report
- Dr Jan Maskell, Scientists for Global Responsibility
Reducing your carbon footprint - interactive workshop from SGR's One Planet - One Life project
- Prof Rebecca Willis, Lancaster University
Overcoming social denial of climate change
- Farhana Yamin, environmental lawyer, policy analyst, and climate activist
Why I broke the law for climate breakdown
Some photos from the conference can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/SGRconference2019photos
[image credit: iStock]