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.

Candidates invited for 3 postdoc and 5 PhD student positions in ERC project of Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh

Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh’s project “Behavioral-evolutionary analysis of climate policy: Bounded rationality, markets and social interactions” (EVOCLIM), awarded with a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant, offers three postdoc positions (two of 5 years and one of 3 years) and five PhD research positions (each 4 years).

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.

ICTA-UAB to study the sustainable use of soil and natural resources in the framework of the COUPLED program

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) will be awarded half a million euros in the framework of the COUPLED program, a European innovating training network.

UAB scientists and citizens can identify Barcelona's allergy-causing plants with the new Plant*tes app

The UAB Point of Information on Aerobiology (PIA) presented its new Plant*tes app in Barcelona as part of the BArcelona City Council's project entitled "Ciència Ciutadana als barris".

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.

Unrestricted Improvements in Fishing Technology Threaten the Future of Seafood

A study conducted by ICTA-UAB researcher Eric Galbraith shows that future improvement of fishing technology poses a threat for the global fishery that could be greater than climate change.

¿Son los Pirineos una barrera real para el transporte atmosférico de polen?

Los resultados del estudio llevado a cabo por Jordina Belmonte y Concepción de Linares, investigadoras expertas en botánica de la UAB, constatan que el polen de abedul, una de las especies principales de plantas que causan alergia en Europa Central y del Norte.

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.

Map Commemorating Women’s Resistance to Extractivism and Defense of Life and Territory in Latin America

A map created by researchers at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), the Latin-American Network of Women Defending Social and Environmental Rights and the Colombian NGO CENSAT-Agua Viva Friends of the Earth Colombia makes visible the struggles of women in Latin America against mining and in defense of life.

European Project to Analyse the Effects of Waste Generated by Tourism on Mediterranean Islands

An European study involving the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma e Barcelona will address and propose solutions to the effects of the increase of waste generated by tourism on Mediterranean islands during the summer season.

More Urban Green Needed in Barcelona to Have Positive Effects on Environmental Quality and Wellness

A PhD dissertation by Francesc Baró, from ICTA-UAB, quantifies and maps the benefits of urban and periurban green in Barcelona such as the improvement of air quality, climate change mitigation and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

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.

Social Relations, Success in Hunting and Good Health, Sources of Happiness for Indigenous People

Rural and indigenous people from the Global South push absolute income into the background as source of wellbeing.

More than One-Third of the Population Would Stop Economic Growth to Achieve Sustainability

A study by researchers of the Institut of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) assesses Spanish public opinion on economic growth, the environment and prosperity.

The ICTA-UAB Will Assess, in Collaboration with EU Staff, the Effectiveness of EU Sustainability Policies

The EU Project MAGIC (H2020) coordinated by the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has the goal to study and develop new strategies for a better use of science for governance.
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 ( Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Montréal (Canada)

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

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.

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.

ICTA's Activities