• Using the Planet


    Even before the advent of agriculture, Homo sapiens kicked off an entirely new process of planetary change. Earth would never be the same. Instead of mere centuries, Erle C Ellis advances a broader view of the Anthropocene, over many millennia, and what that means for land stewardship.
  • Lessons from a simulated civilisation


    The rise and fall of the ancient Maya has
    intrigued historians and archaeologists for decades. Now, Earth-system scientists are taking a keen interest. Scott Heckbert asks: what role might environmental conditions and trade play in the growth and eventual collapse of a civilisation?

Open

Climate and beyond:


Knowledge Production about Planet Earth and the Global Environment as Indicators of Social Change

Date:
January 23, 2013 - January 25, 2013
The Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research of the University of Bern, the Institute of History of the University of Bern and the History Department of the University of Zurich are organising a conference to bring together historians of the earth sciences and environmental historians. It aims to explore the social, cultural and political changes induced by earth scientists and the knowledge and institutions they have created over the last two centuries.

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).

Venue
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.

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