The Encounter of Natural and Social Sciences: Global Environment and Sustainable Societies
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
The Encounter of Natural and Social Sciences:
Global Environment and Sustainable Societies
For most of the 20th century the common-sense division of academic labour was taken for granted: Natural scientists investigated the non-human world. Social scientists concentrated on people and societies. However, by the 1980s things were changing as knowledge of global environmental problems emerged, and it has become clearer that the fate of the natural and social worlds is inevitably intertwined.
By the 1980s, more people thought globally. More problems were recognized as intrinsically global. More civil society organizations spread globally. More institutions operated globally. In that process, environmentalism as a global force unsettled old ways of doing things: it helped crystallize a global field, in which individuals and states related to both the system of states and humankind itself.
Globalization unfolds in part through a contest of world images. How groups of people define the global situation has real consequences for the way they live in it. It applies especially to global environmentalism, a branch of which now propses a worldview very different the the one that sustained much of globalization thus far.
Whereas, conventional globalization relativizes individual and society in relation to a larger human setting, radical environmentalism relativizes human world society itself in the context of the earth as ecosystem. That dependence is an integral part of global consciousness. From 19th century roots, environmentalism has grown into an influential global movement. Its ecological results may be mixed at best, but as a social innovation reshaping world society it has already had a major impact.