Impact Fellowship's third workshop
The primary aim of this workshop was to bring together the Primary Investigators (and Co-Investigators) from the AHRC Researching Environmental Change (REC) networks, collaborative external partners (including representatives from The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), National Trust, and LWEC) and other interested parties to discuss network outcomes, share learning experiences and generate ideas for future funding.
Participants were invited to explore different methods of public engagement and the possibilities offered by different narratives and histories of environmental change (global, scientific, local, cultural, negative, positive, amateur, professional).
What has been the public value of the REC networks? Who has been engaged and through what means?
What is the role for narrative and stories in histories and futures of environmental change?
What difference does an arts and humanities perspective make to researching environmental change? How can the activities of the REC networks be used as a bridge/interface with LWEC (Living with Environmental Change)?
Conclusions and Outcomes
All of the Researching Environmental Change network leaders found it useful to meet each other and to share and discuss approaches and findings from their meetings. Progress was also made in thinking about next steps and work that remains to be done in terms of bridging with the sciences and other initiatives like LWEC and the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.
Mike Hulme, a member of the Commissioning Panel for the networks and a member of several of the networks, responded to the day. Mike raised questions about: 'What knowledges count?', 'Could (and should) the environmental humanities speak with a united viewpoint?'
Mike then highlighted the number of academic journals from a wide array of arts and humanities disciplines producing special issues on climate change, before emphasising the importance of place and scale, and of different (and changing) value systems. Mike concluded by explaining that investigating how knowledges are made can help to overcome the great divide between the arts and sciences, and provided the opportunity to argue for similarities too. There is great potential for serious cross-disciplinary work as we move away from the idea that not all environmental problems are scientific problems.