Scope of the Conference
The conference will look at the issue of social change through the lens of earth matters. What do we learn about societies, their norms and collective mentalities by analysing how people dealt with planet earth, its history, climate, surface patterns, or the mechanisms underlying its dynamic structure? Topics of the precirculated papers include, for instance, the debate on desertification in the 19th century, the idea of deep time for social thinking about the future or the history of Arctic research. Each paper presentation will be followed by 20 minutes of comment and discussion. Invited speakers are Erhard Oeser (Vienna, A) and Naomi Oreskes (San Diego, USA). The public evening lecture is given by Joachim Radkau (Bielefeld, D).
The conference will take place at the University of Bern close to the medieval city centre of Bern which is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. Bern is a short train ride from the Alps of the Bernese Oberland offering excellent skiing.