skip to Main Content

ESG Series at Utrecht University – Science of the Earth System in Times of Scepticism and Polarization

The Netherlands
Utrecht University
Event start: 20191010
End date: 20191010

Event description

Science of the Earth System in Times of Scepticism and Polarization

October 10th, 2019, 16:00 – 17:30

Bistro area (ground floor)– Vening Meineszgebouw A., Princetonlaan 8a, Utrecht, The Netherlands

What is the role of universities as knowledge institutions in handling and dealing with climate scepticism?

The Earth System Governance Speaker Series and Pathways to Sustainability are happy to host author Jan Paul van Soest, who has been invited to Utrecht University to speak about climate scepticism and polarization of scientific knowledge, as well as the role of universities as knowledge institutions in handling and dealing with climate scepticism.

A stable Holocene climate, clean air and water, biodiversity and other natural resources are at the basis of our existence, and hence our economies. Conservation and sustainable use of these resources require a common understanding of their nature, values and functions, as a basis for governance and policies to preserve them. Science plays a crucial role in that understanding and to develop solutions to overcome environmental challenges. But how can shared governance principles and policy measures be developed in a highly polarized debate on environment and climate change, in which not only different worldviews bring different solutions, but also scientific truths are questioned and undermined. Can we find common ground? Can the academic community deal with the challenges? What is the role of universities as knowledge institutions in facing climate scepticism? How should individual researchers respond in cases when scientific truths are questioned?

These questions will be further delved into in an ensuing panel debate chaired by Prof. Frank Biermann after the lecture with Professor Appy Sluijs and Jan Paul van Soest. The event will also be followed by an informal drink for registered participants.

About Jan Paul van Soest

Jan Paul van Soest (1955) is a well-known consultant, initiator and thinker/writer in the field of sustainability in the Netherlands. He leads negotiations on complex social projects and plans where sustainability is the key issue, he gives advice to Governments, businesses and NGOs. Furthermore, Jan Paul initiates and develops new concepts, activities and organizations, such as the Green Business Council (now part of MVO-Nederland) and the FoodTransition Coalition.In addition, Jan Paul is author of numerous publications, articles and several books, including the much talked-about book De Twijfelbrigade (2014), analysing the background of climate scepticism: ideologies, lobby and the brain seeking comfort and confirmation. Jan Paul is Chairman or member of several boards and advisory bodies.

About Appy Sluijs

Appy Sluijs (1980) is Professor of Paleoceanography and co-chair of the research group Marine Palynology and Paleoceanography at the Earth Sciences Department of Utrecht University. His primary research interests include climate and ecological change in the geological past.

We ask you to please Register for the seminar here

You might like these events too

ESG Speaker Series: Democratising Sustainability Transformations
Experts from research and practise share their insights
ESG Side Event at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainble Development

"The Political Effects of the SDGs since 2015 - Findings from the global SDG Impact Assessment"…

Earth System Governance in South Korea – The Road to Carbon Neutrality and Sustainable Development

In this iteration of the ESG Speaker Series, hosted virtually and on location in the Marinus…

Recent publications

Special Issue: Artificial Intelligence & Digitalization, October 2022

New technologies present significant opportunities to manage natural resources better and safeguard the environment. For instance, artificial intelligence (AI) is…

Assessing the effectiveness of orchestrated climate action from five years of summits
Five years of climate action and summitry have taught us valuable lessons. Orchestrators of climate action can positively influence performance by setting minimum requirements for credibility and robustness among the initiatives they engage.
Transforming Biodiversity Governance
Edited by Ingrid J. Visseren-Hamakers, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Marcel T. J. Kok, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency