Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

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From Exploitation to Sustainability? Global Perspectives on the History and Future of Resource Depletion


06.12.2010 – 07.12.2010

Location: Seidlvilla, Nikolaiplatz 1b, Munich

Bernd Herrmann (University of Göttingen) and Christof Mauch (RCC)

Program – English (pdf, 603 KB)

Conference Report – English (pdf, 336 KB)  

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and the Graduiertenkolleg Interdisziplinäre Umweltgeschichte at the University of Göttingen have organized a workshop dedicated to cultural aspects of human responses to natural resource shortages in comparative and global perspectives. Cultural factors and paradigms have influenced historical resource management and continue to play a crucial role today as different world regions and cultural areas attempt to safeguard resources for the future. For the workshop, leading environmental historians from every continent will be brought together for the first time to discuss the past and future of resources, exploitation, and sustainability. Central questions will include: How do societies throughout history react in the face of diminishing vital resources (e.g. water, wood, land, oil, wildlife) or natural goods (such as precious metals)? How are changes perceived, and which rules, practices, and discourses are developed to meet, ignore, or deny such challenges? The philosophies and paradigms behind technical solutions were also considered.

The workshop marks the start of LMU’s new PhD program "Environment and Society." It is supported by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The goal of the Leopoldina is to support young academics.

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