The ongoing environmental disaster (loss of biodiversity, climate change...) and the warnings by the scientific community about the need to rethink our models of production and consumption make it impossible to ignore the issue, whatever the context. So, what about scientific research? Beyond the direct environmental footprint of research (for example due to flying to conferences), what role does it play in the destructive behavior of our societies, and how would it fit in a mid- or long-term trajectory toward sustainability? This question opens up a wider discussion that scientists rarely have:
To tackle this question, we must learn to make explicit the values that shape how we work, and understand the complex relationships between our research, the environment and the societies in which we or others live. This requires some understanding of the history, economics, law, philosophy, sociology, politics, and ethics of our disciplines, for which many of us have received no training.
The SEnS workshop has been designed to provide tools and resources for this purpose, to a group of 5 to 15 people working in academia, including at least one having already participated in such a workshop and who will facilitate it. A research group, lab or a university can for example host a SEnS workshop.
ObjectivesThe SEnS workshop aims to:
- Offer a venue to collectively discuss the consequences of our research, the values that it conveys, and more generally how scientific research fits in the Anthropocene.
- Provide an introduction to science and technology studies, in particular to the philosophy, history, and sociology of science.
- Initiate a collective construction of a social and environmental responsibility of research.