Research Frontiers in Sustainability Science: Bridging Disciplines and Practices

Saturday, February 19, 2011: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
140B (Washington Convention Center )
Fostering a transition toward sustainability -- toward patterns of development that promote human well-being while conserving the life support systems of the planet – has emerged as one of the central challenges of the 21st century. Building the science and technology needed to support a sustainability transition requires a truly multidisciplinary approach that integrates practical experience with knowledge and know-how drawn from across the natural and social sciences, medicine and engineering, and mathematics and computation. The beginnings of such an approach have been taking shape within a variety of forums and are now coming together under the rubric of “sustainability science.” The organizers recently ran, for the National Science Foundation, the first effort in a decade to conduct a systematic, community-based assessment of research opportunities and priorities across the full substantive and methodological breadth of the field. That workshop identified six domains of multidisciplinary research at the frontier of sustainability science. The goal of this symposium is to highlight the excitement and originality of scholarship in the field by featuring one example of new cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research from each of the six domains, presented by some of the most distinguished leaders in the field. A discussant will highlight the interconnections among the featured research domains and will address the challenges of bringing results to bear on pressing practical problems of the day.
William C. Clark, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Simon A. Levin, Princeton University
Pamela A. Matson, Stanford University
and Shere Abbott, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President
Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota
Natural Capital and Human Well-Being
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