New Project to Link Extreme Weather Events, Atmospheric Biodiversity and Human Health

A new ICTA-UAB project led by researcher Jordina Belmonte will study the effects of extreme meteorological events on the biological biodiversity present in the atmosphere in order to predict changes in the environment and possible affectations on human health.

Bolivian Amazon on road to deforestation

Amazon biodiversity hotspot to suffer even more “alarming” losses after contentious law passed, according to a study involving ICTA-UAB researchers.

ICTA-UAB’s success: five ERC grants in two years

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded five European Research Council (ERC) grants in two years, which is about ten per cent of all ERC grants arriving in Catalonia over the period from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017.

Scientists Alert of Swift Degradation of Marine Ecosystems and Grave Consequences for the Planet

A book edited by researchers from the ICTA-UAB, the UB, the CNRS and the IEO addresses the concept of "animal forest" and highlights the importance of the role seas and oceans have in combating climate change.

New ICTA-UAB map shows success, concerns and challenges of the transition away from fossil fuels and coal industry in Australia

Resistance against massive coal-mining in Australia and a growing movement for a ‘just transition’ from fossil fuels have enjoyed some success but face massive challenges, as shown in a new map developed by researchers from the international ACKnowl-EJ project of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB)  and the Australian Environmental Justice (AEJ) research team at the Centre for Urban Research (RMIT University.

ICTA-UAB researcher Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Consolidator Grant

ICREA researcher at ICTA-UAB Victoria Reyes- García has been graced with a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) for the development of a project aimed at bringing insights from local knowledge to climate change research.

Research to study the health effects of forests

The ICTA-UAB, CREAF and the "la Caixa" Bank Foundation recently presented the project "Healthy Forests for a Healthy Society".

Blockadia map by ICTA-UAB reveals global scale of anti-fossil fuel movement

A new interactive map by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) reveals the worldwide impact of resistance direct actions by people putting their own bodies in the way of fossil fuel projects.

Launch of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa Centres and Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence

​ The Secretary of State for R&D+i, Carmen Vela, chaired the kickoff meeting of the new Severo Ochoa and Maria Maeztu Alliance of Excellence.

Green gentrification can limit the favourable effects of green areas on health

A scientific research conducted by ICTA-UAB and IMIM suggests that more socially disadvantaged neighbours do not benefit equally from the effects newly created green areas have on health.

Oil contamination in the Amazon modifies chemical composition of rivers

A scientific study by the ICTA-UAB and ISS-EUR quantifies the environmental impact of oil extraction activities and contamination in headwaters of the Amazon.

ICTA-UAB researchers alert that oil palm plantations produce infertility in tropical lands

Oil palm plantations are replacing 40% of tropical forests and 32% of basic grain crops, according to an ICTA-UAB research conducted in Guatemala.

EJAtlas Includes 2,100 Case Studies on Socio-Environmental Conflicts Around the World

The Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), created by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), currently includes 2,100 cases of ecological distribution conflicts identified in different parts of the world.

Ice age thermostat prevented extreme climate cooling

During the ice ages, an unidentified regulatory mechanism prevented atmospheric CO2 concentrations from falling below a level that could have led to runaway cooling, reports a study conducted by researchers of the ICTA-UAB and published online in Nature Geoscience this week.

The New Theory of Economic “Agrowth” Contributes to the Viability of Climate Policies

 ICTA-UAB researcher Jeroen van den Bergh publishes in Nature Climate Change a study in which he proposes a new economic theory compatible with the fight against climate change.

New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

The new ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide' it is at your disposal now. With this document, we aim to help you discover the basics of the PhD programme, ICTA-UAB’s structure, etc.
Seminaris
SEMINAR: “Reading socio-ecological transformations: critical realism, systems theory and the role of the civilizing process”, by Stefano Menegat

Date: 2017-06-13

Title: "Reading socio-ecological transformations: critical realism, systems theory and the role of the civilizing process"

Lecturer: Stefano Menegat, Ph.D. Candidate in Renewable Resources – Economics for the Anthropocene program (e4a-net.org). Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Montréal (Canada)


Date: Tuesday, June 13th 2017
Time: 12.30h
Venue: Room Z/023 ICTA-UAB


Abstract
Cultural worldviews are the cornerstone of the development of human cognitive processes. The way we see the world defines our systems of knowledge and our relationship with the surrounding biophysical and social context. As many argue, the current ecological, social and geo-political crises derive from the inability of the dominant worldview to account for the complexity of the contemporary world. When events taking place in the external world are misaligned with their social representation, our perception of the world results affected by a cognitive dissonance. As Teinter, Diamond and others showed, cognitive dissonance is the preliminary stage for the collapse of complex societies. The current dominant narratives, rooted in the western philosophical tradition, need to evolve in order to deal with the biophysical and socio-economic conditions emerged during the last two centuries. The seminar will develop this argument with respect to the ongoing debate on sustainability science for governance. It will explore the potential synergies between the ontology proposed by the critical realism school of thought, the epistemology of systems theory, and the sociology of Norbert Elias.

Roy Bhaskar’s critical realism focuses on the distinction between multiple ontological levels that are more or less knowable depending on their nature. While recognizing the existence of empirical and socially-constructed realities, critical realism accommodates the claims of both post-modernism and logical positivism. By admitting the impossibility of achieving an objective truth, critical realism “re-asserts the primacy of ontology on epistemology”, in a discourse that is “couched almost exclusively in systems terms” (Mingers, 2014). The work of Norbert Elias, who developed the theory of the civilizing process, seems to be compatible with such worldview, but many question marks remain. The seminar aims to analyze these theories and to assess whether they provide useful tools to re-align the social process of knowledge-production and the complexity of the contemporary global situation.

Bio
Stefano is a PhD candidate in Ecological Economics at McGill University. He received his master degree in Cooperation and Development from the University of Turin with a thesis on Alternative Food Networks and urban food systems. His Ph.D. research focuses on the transdisciplinary analysis of agri-food systems through multiple scales and multiple levels, underlining the role played by international trade dynamics and post-harvest processes.

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