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Debate: The Meaning of Academic Practices in Times of Environmental Crisis
January 22, 2020 @ 18:30 - 21:30
A debate about how we, students, and scholars of Maastricht University, intend to continue, adapt, and rethink our academic practice in response to the current state of planetary ecosystems. Caught between their scientific grasp of present and impending environmental disasters, norms of scholarly practice, and institutional pressures to remain detached, students and scholars are increasingly having to face up to a pressing question: *what is the role of academic practice in an age of environmental crisis?* What might or indeed should scholarship be? Is it enough to continue writing, teaching and learning about the issues at stake here? Should this crisis feature in all research and education, given that it has repercussions for all domains of society and will determine students’ futures? If we accept the reality and urgency of this crisis, how can we justify not taking direct action? At the institutional scale, what can universities do to support its students and employees in addressing threats of climate and ecological breakdown? Can and should universities back forms of protest such as the recent national Klimaatstaking (climate strike)? Should Maastricht University declare Climate Emergency just like thousands of other schools and universities worldwide? Finally, how might universities navigate the tensions of an increasingly challenging political climate, in which scientific findings on global environmental change are sometimes branded political opinions, rather than rigorously established facts? In addressing these and other related questions, this debate provides a forum for cross-faculty conversation on the meaning of academic practice in times of environmental crisis. Discussants: Arthur Bribosia (Students4Climate Maastricht) Prof. Pim Martens (Chair of Sustainable Development at ICIS & Scientivist) Prof. Peter Møllgaard (Dean of the School of Business and Economics) Dr. Ceren Pekdemir (Coordinator Sustainable Education UM & Assistant Prof. at ICIS) Sarah Thin (PhD Researcher at the Faculty of Law & Activist) Moderated by Dr. Miriam Meissner (Assistant Prof. at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences).