Global Regimes of Knowing: Science Policy for Earth System Governance

Virtual Semi-Plenary Session ESG Forum

Online, 15.09.2020


Earth System Governance Project, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Governing our earth’s systems requires us to know them: their structures, functions, internal processes, the resources and services they provide, their carrying capacities and triggers of change. In-depth research into our marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as century-old experiential knowledge form the basis for their sustainable use, management and governance. How we know these systems varies substantially, subject to the scale we look at them, to our thematic, disciplinary or geographic foci, and to our methods of data collection and analysis. While this ensures global diversity, substantial global imbalances prevail in the scientific assessment of local and regional ecosystems. These affect how we know and govern our earth’s systems, globally and locally. The resulting ‘epistemic inequalities’ (Wellmon & Piper 2017) rest on structural path dependencies related to the science systems in different countries.

This session discusses the role of science systems and their global diversity for earth system governance. Drawing on data of science system performance in agricultural and coastal-marine contexts, the keynote calls for a reinvention of science as it has diversified globally since the age of Enlightenment in 18th century Europe. It will be followed by two critical reflections to kick-start a discussion of the implications for earth system governance research.


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Datum / Uhr
15.09.2020 / 15:15 - 16:45