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Session 2 - 09.20.2010 Sustainability Science and Sustainable Development (Speaker: Bill Clark)

This session provides the context and purpose of the rest of the seminar. We begin with a discussion of the origins and present status of the idea of sustainable development. Next, we illustrate the range of contemporary challenges facing those who would promote a transition toward sustainability. We then trace emerging efforts to better harness science and technology to advance the sustainability agenda and characterize the emerging field of sustainability science.

Speaker Bio: Bill Clark
-- William C. Clark is the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Trained as an ecologist, his research focuses on the interactions of environment, development and security concerns in international affairs, with a special emphasis on the role of science and technology in shaping those interactions. Clark is co-author of Adaptive Environmental Assessment and Management (Wiley, 1978) and Redesigning Rural Development (Hopkins, 1982); editor of the Carbon Dioxide Review (Oxford, 1982); and coeditor of Sustainable Development of the Biosphere (Cambridge, 1986), The Earth as Transformed by Human Action (Cambridge, 1990), Learning To Manage Global Environmental Risks (MIT, 2001), and Global Environmental Assessments: Information and Influence (MIT, 2006). He serves on the editorial boards of the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences, and Annual Review of Environment and Natural Resources. Clark is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, where he serves on the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and co-chaired the study Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability (National Research Council, 1999). At Harvard, he co-directs the Sustainability Science Program at the University's Center for International Development. Clark is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize, the Humboldt Prize, and the Kennedy School's Carballo Award for excellence in teaching. See
Required reading from the Sustainability Science book
Chapter 1.1 Sustainability Science and Sustainable Development
Supplemental Readings from the Reader
For each session, the editors of the Sustainability Science Reader, Bob Kates and Nancy Dickson, will select and post here 2 or 3 articles from the Reader that they believe to be most pertinent to the session themes. Accompanying the copies of the articles will be the Reader's editorial text that accompanies each article. This will also let participants see which sections of the Reader the editors believe to be most relevant to the session. Interested participants are asked to respond to the editors' selections through the discussion page, saying which articles where more or less useful, and suggesting alternatives or additions.
Supplemental Readings from Moderator
Supplemental Readings suggested by the Moderator for week 2 (Jim Heffernan, Florida International University)
Supplemental Readings from UMN group
Supplement readings suggested by the Minnesota student group.
Supplemental Readings from other Participants
Here is a place to post useful readings relevant to the session submitted by other participants.
Video Recording: Sustainability Science and Sustainable Development
A video recording of the session is available at this link. The session was moderated by Jim Heffernan at FIU. Bill Clark at Harvard presented the chapter on Sustainability Science and Sustainable Development, followed by commentary from Jim Heffernan, and commentary by the University of Minnesota student group. Student presenters were Katie Lundquist, Baishali Bakshi and Matthew Burgess. These commentaries were followed by a question and answer period across all of the participating institutions in which questions were posed to any of the speakers leading to a rich discussion.
PDFs of the Power Point presents from Bill Clark at Harvard, Jim Heffernan at FIU and the University of Minnesota Students are provided in this folder.
Session 2 Short Summary by U Minnesota students
This summary of the second week of the course covers the material of the week, including Chapter One of Sustainability Science: An Introduction, key supplemental readings, remarks by chapter author Bill Clark, of Harvard, remarks by Jim Heffernan, of Florida International University, remarks by University of Minnesota student discussants, and responsive themes raised in the questions and online discussions of the students from the seven participating colleges and universities. The summary represents a consensus view of the University of Minnesota student group that took responsibility for presenting a formal response to the material of the second week. It was written by Beth Mercer-Taylor, Nathan Mueller and John Sheehan with Christine O'Connell, Sri Ganti, John Vincent, Katie Lundquist, Matthew Burgess and Baishali Bakshi.
Summary of Session 2.pdf
Summary of comments and reflections on Session 2 prepared by: Minnesota Student Group: Baishali Bakshi, Matthew Burgess, Sri Ganti, Katie Lundquist, Nathan Mueller, Christine O'Connell, John Sheehan, Beth Mercer-Taylor, John Vincent