The Gordon Goodman Memorial Lecture with Sverker Sörlin

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Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry

Drottninggatan 95B

113 86 Stockholm

Sweden

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The "environment": unearthing the past, present and future of one of the most successful policy concepts of the twentieth century

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm University and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) are proud to present the Gordon Goodman Memorial Lecture 2019 to be delivered on October 3, by Sverker Sörlin. Sverker Sörlin is a Swedish historian of ideas and a professor in environmental history, working at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Sverker Sörlin was Associate Director for the Center for History of Science in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1988–1990), and the founding director of the Swedish Institute for Studies in Education and Research, SISTER (2000–2003). From 2006 to 2009 he chaired the Swedish Committee for the International Polar Year. From 1994 to 2018 he served on the Swedish Government’s Science Advisory Board under four research ministers, and he is currently a member of the Swedish Climate Policy Council.

His research areas include the science, history and politics of climate change, and the development of the concept of global environmental governance. He frequently appears in Swedish media and writes popular science and narrative non-fiction.

Sverker has been active at prominent institutes and universities in several countries and has recently published a book on the history of the environment: The Environment – A History of the Idea.

The event will take place at the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.

For live stream click this link.

Programme:

14.30 Welcome and introduction by co-organisers

Dan Larhammar. President, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Astrid Söderbergh Widding. President, Stockholm University

Måns Nilsson. Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute

14.45 Memorial Lecture: The "environment": unearthing the past, present and future of one of the most successful policy concepts of the twentieth century

Sverker Sörlin. Professor in environmental history at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

15.30 Coffee break

15.45 Panel discussion

Sverker Sörlin. Professor in Environmental History, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Fiona Lambe. Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute

Anders Wijkman. Chair of Climate-KIC, SEI Associate and Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Rebecka Le Moine. Conservation biologist and Member of Parliament for the Swedish Green Party

Olle Torpman. Researcher in philosophy, Institute for Future Studies

Moderated by Somya Joshi. Head of Governance and Institutions Unit, Stockholm Environment Institute

16.45 Concluding remarks

Åsa Persson. Research Director, Stockholm Environment Institute

17.00 Mingle and refreshments

Event contact: Anneli Sundin, anneli.sundin@sei.org


ABSTRACT

Title of lecture: The "environment" :unearthing the past, present and future of one of the most successful policy concepts of the twentieth century

This lecture will be a journey through the history of the concept ‘environment’ and the changes of its meaning. When was it first used, and in what contexts and by whom? What does the word actually refer to? How did it become so successful in science, in culture, in politics?

Sverker Sörlin will be drawing on the recent and widely acclaimed book by himself and co-authors Paul Warde, Cambridge University and Libby Robin, The Australian National University, Canberra, titled: The Environment -- A History of the Idea (Johns Hopkins University Press).

It is 2019 and the word ‘environment’ is becoming a possible victim of its own success -- what is not related to environment? Its important early property, to be relevant for anything and everything, is starting to weigh on it and opens the space for contenders -- words such as 'sustainability', 'planet', or 'Anthropocene'. What is happening to the concept today and what may the future bring?

This annual memorial lecture is in honour of Gordon Goodman, founding director of the Beijer Institute at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from 1977–1989 and the Stockholm Environment Institute from 1989–1991.

The event will be live streamed. Link will be shared before the event starts.

Photo credit: Sofia Runarsdotter

In cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Stockholm University.


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Date and Time

Location

Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry

Drottninggatan 95B

113 86 Stockholm

Sweden

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