Science, Sustainability, and the Arts

Friday, February 17, 2012: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 214 (VCC West Building)
Sound decisions about the complex sustainability challenges of the 21st century must be grounded in science, yet science alone is never sufficient for making decisions that must also involve complex trade-offs and thus engage our values and ethical concerns. Indeed, such decisions strain our routine thinking, requiring us to reflect on concerns that are seldom part of our day-to-day life. Challenging routine thinking is one of the roles of art in contemporary society and a variety of media (photography, bricolage, film, “interventions”) have been deployed to this end around issues of sustainability. The session brings together three panelists who work at the intersection of science, sustainability, and art. They will reflect on how artistic work engages with leading issues in sustainability science, including preservation of biodiversity, the human ecological footprint, climate change, and contemporary urban life. Each panelist is an experienced artist who will draw on his or her own work. Each panelist is also a scholar who will reflect on the relationship between art and science and how the link between the two can inform and advance our thinking about sustainability.
Thomas Dietz, Michigan State University
Eugene A. Rosa, Washington State University
Ortwin Renn, University of Stuttgart
Eugene A. Rosa, Washington State University
Ecolage: The Fusion of Art and Ecology with Discards
Joe Zammit-Lucia, Independent Artist
Message and Medium: Re-Defining Environmentalism
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