In a follow-up to the December 2017 Living Labs edition of the environmental SCIENTIST, Filipa Ferraz devises a Living Lab analysis in a university context that raises the importance of integrating university roles, groups and layers.
Air quality, or the lack of it, has become a hot topic in the UK, which hopefully means this book will be read by a wider audience outside the environmental science community. In terms of helping to facilitate change, it certainly needs to be.
The introduction starts with emotive description of the impact polluters have on all of us, introducing the concept of air being used as a waste disposal route. I’m not sure that many people have thought of it this way, and this provides a different way of thinking about the problem.
At its heart, this book looks to set out an approach to science and practice that can “transform society towards greater sustainability”. This is very much in keeping with the approach that we champion within the IES.
Ariane König, from the University of Luxembourg, has edited this multi-author volume and she argues that a new concept, of ‘transformative sustainability science’ is required that is driven by three key approaches: future-orientation, systems-thinking and social learning.
The book comprises 19 highly diverse chapters, structured in three parts:
In hardback this is literally a weighty tome. It has been travelling with me for some time as I have dipped into it, and I’m now pleased to lighten my load as I complete this review, and place it amongst my useful reference books.
Our annual membership survey not only collects quantitative responses, but also gives members a chance to provide written feedback on our membership services.
Once we've summarised the numerical results (see our Membership Survey report), the Project Office discusses the written comments in detail. As a member-driven organisation, our membership survey is a vital tool for addressing members' concerns, queries and suggestions.
In support of this year’s World Environment Day campaign, #BeatPlasticPollution, the IES ran a series of events in Bristol, London and Edinburgh showing the award-winning documentary, A Plastic Ocean. Each screening was followed by a panel debate exploring the scientific evidence behind this environmental issue and some of the potential unintended environmental impacts many proposed plastic alternatives and solutions could present.
In the first five months of 2018, the IES has already made as many formal consultation submissions as we did in the whole of last year. But no, this isn’t because we spent the autumn in a David Attenborough-induced trance, chain-watching Blue Planet II and lamenting not having done something about that great idea we had to set up a business selling reusable coffee cups five years ago.
Universities are facing increasing pressures to change the educational programmes they offer in order to make graduates fit for future citizenship and employment in the 21st Century. The impetus for radical re-purposing of universities comes from a complex array of contemporary issues, including societal, economic and environmental challenges as well as national and international policy change. Curriculum reform and innovation are beginning to take place in many universities in the UK and elsewhere in the world in response to such pressures and policy developments.
The principal element of my first degree, when ecology was still a relatively new subject, was entitled Ecosystems and Man and Mark Everard’s latest work provides a fascinating compendium of the intellectual revolution that has occurred over the decades since then. This book weaves the concepts of sustainability, biodiversity and ecosystem services, terms so familiar now but unheard in academia in my day, with what many of us are practising in our professional activities as we work with anthropically transformed ecosystems.