3. Rethinking academia in a time of climate crisis, or – how to be a scientist in a world on fire

Clare Kelly Presenter
School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
Dublin, Dublin 
Tuesday, Jun 25: 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom 104-105 
To address the climate and ecological crisis, we need radical and urgent action at all levels of society. Universities are ideally positioned to lead these societal transformations, yet are largely failing to do so. At the same time, academics find themselves impeded by corporatization and bureaucracy, a loss of academic freedom, overwork, casualisation, and poor mental health. In this talk, we will draw on Kate Raworth’s (2017) Doughnut Economics framework to diagnose these experiences as symptoms of an overarching problem: that modern academic life increasingly transgresses human and planetary limits while failing to provide a socially just foundation for its communities. In response, we suggest seven new principles for rethinking the norms of scientific practice. Based on these principles, we propose a call to action, and encourage academics to take concrete steps towards a thriving scientific enterprise that works better for people and responds to the climate crisis.