What is a “global” environmental problem, and how do we “know” when we have one? How have societies conceived of the environment in the past, and how might we re-imagine our relationship to the environment today to ensure a sustainable future? How have innovations in science and technology shaped our current approaches to managing planet Earth?
In this course, we’ll draw on insights from political science, anthropology, history, and science and technology studies to explore how people’s views on what the global environment is and how it should be managed have changed over time. In particular, we’ll consider the various political and ethical dilemmas that often arise when those views differ. Climate change and biodiversity conservation will be key topics in the course. Students will learn how to write policy memos and develop oral presentations for a general audience.