Research Council: 1st Meeting

The first meeting of the Scientific Council of the Campus was held on the afternoon of 17 May at the premises of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris.

Moderated by Gilles Lhuilier, it brought together – by video-conference or physically – a large part of the members of the Scientific Council: Patrick Caron (geographer, CIRAD & University of Montpellier); Eve Chiapello (sociologist, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris); Celia Deane-Drummond (biologist and theologian, Oxford, Great Britain) ; Gaël Giraud (economist, CNRS, Paris); Hervé Le Treut (climatologist, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Paris); Jenny Stephens (Professor of Environmental Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, USA ; Mark Swilling (Politician, Stellenbosch University, South Africa); Lawrence Tanner (Geologist, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, USA); Nancy Tuchman (Biologist, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Chicago Loyola, USA); Sandra Waddock (Professor of Management, Boston College, USA); Christian Wagner (Politician, Georgetown University, USA); Frédéric Worms (philosopher, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris).

After an introduction by Gilles Lhuilier, and a presentation of the various members of the Scientific Council and the Campus laboratory (Cécile Renouard, Pierre-Jean Cottalorda, Christian Koenig, Antoine Rieu), Cécile reported on the academic activities of the Campus in 2018-2019 and future prospects. Most of the time was devoted to a rich exchange on the issues to which the Campus initiative aims to respond. There is strong encouragement to continue the articulation between the implementation of the project in a given territory and global networking, through links with other similar initiatives, with networks of teacher-researchers – such as the Transition Research Network (http://www.transitionresearchnetwork.org/) or the Sustainability Transitions Network (https://transitionsnetwork.org/) -, through the development of certificates that can accommodate students from different institutions, through the sharing of cases and educational innovations, etc.

The importance of valuing the specificity of the Campus in its experiential, reflective and holistic dimension was supported as a key to success. Like other institutions around the world, and in a unique way, the epistemological transition, open, applied, of teaching and research on ecological and social issues can take place. With regard to networking, the specific character of the Campus as an inter-academic place was also underlined, with the debate remaining open as to the future affiliation, if the conditions were right, to a university – such as Schumacher College at the University of Plymouth (UK) or the Sustainability Institute at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa). In the exchanges, there was also strong support for a strategy to train trainers, in particular to contribute to the continuing training of higher education teachers. Finally, some participants would like this Scientific Council to be also an advisory board, with a strong involvement of its members.

The Scientific Council is complementary to the Academic Council, which brings together teacher-researchers and practitioners more directly involved in the Campus’ training activities, which will meet at the end of June at the Campus.

Cécile Renouard

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