TWO IRISH SCHOLARS ARGUE FOR INTEGRATION OF HUMANITIES DISCOURSE IN FIGHT AGAINST WARMING

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11 june 2016


The art of changing the climate debate


Scientific knowledge is vital but on its own will never change our environmental behaviour. The key to that is to incorporate skills from the other side of the traditional science-humanities divide, say Trinity College academics

Paddy Woodworth, The Irish Times, jUNE 11, 2016

It is nearly 60 years since the British scientist (and novelist) CP Snow scathingly complained, in a lecture in Cambridge, that our civilisation was dangerously split into two cultures, the sciences and the humanities.

“The great edifice of modern physics goes up,” he declared, “and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.”

Despite his warning, the academic apartheid between the sciences and humanistic studies such as literature, philosophy and history mostly remains as rigid as ever.

Poul Holm and Charles Travis, of the environmental humanities centre at Trinity College Dublin’s Long Room Hub, argue that this compartmentalisation of knowledge urgently needs to be breached, locally and globally, if our societies are to respond adequately to huge challenges such as climate change.

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