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Overview: Speakers, topics, dates, and venue

Linacre Lectures
Hilary Term 2012
supported by Tetra Laval

Linacre College
Convenors: Dr Laura Rival, Prof Subir Sarkar and Prof David Sherratt

“Environmental Governance and Resilience”


  • 19th (Week 1)
    “Social-ecological resilience: A framework for stewardship in an uncertain and rapidly changing world”
    Professor Stuart Chapin (Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks)
  • 26th (Week 2)
    “Planning for ecological resilience on landscapes: the importance of the past to plan for the future”
    Professor Kathy Willis (Director, Biodiversity Institute)


  • 2nd (Week 3)
    “Enframing and poiesis in environmental management”
    Professor Andy Pickering (University of Exeter)
  • 9th (Week 4)
    “Governance, genomes, Gaia”
    Professor Gísli Pálsson (Dept of Anthropology, University of Iceland)
  • 16th (Week 5)
    “Solutions for a Sustainable and Desirable Future”
    Professor Robert Costanza (Director, Inst. for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University)
  • 23rd (Week 6)
    “Resilience and social-ecological systems”
    Professor Carl Folke (Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University)

Lectures will take place at 5.30 pm in the New Biochemistry Lecture Theatre (Ground Floor), South Parks Road.


An Introduction to the 2012 Linacre Lectures

Environmental Governance and Resilience
How do socio-ecological systems work and how are they best governed?

There is a general agreement that environmental change is threatening enough for action to be taken now. To mitigate the impact of climate change in the context of demographic growth and rising demand for food, water and energy in a world developing at differentiated rates requires a new kind of scientific innovation and political will, as well as novel transdisciplinary research. This is exactly what resilience theory, with its roots in ecology and complexity science, aspires to offer. Resilience theory started with a seminal paper by Holling (1973), who argued that the social and the ecological worlds do not divide along disciplinary lines, but form integrated, complex and adaptive systems “characterized by historical dependency, complex dynamics, inherent uncertainty, multiple scales, and multiple equilibria” (Holling 2001: 390). Carl Folke, Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, sees resilience as “the capacity of a system – be it an individual, a forest, city, or an economy – to deal with change and continue to develop” (Folke 2009: 40). If the best way to approach sustainability is from a ‘socio-ecological’ perspective, what does this actually entail in political, economic, social and cultural terms? What are the implications of such a perspective for the ways in which social and natural scientists work and produce knowledge?

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