University of St Andrews Climate Week

Centre for Ancient Environmental Studies Impact Workshop programme – 27 May
Climate Change Conference programme – 28 May
Climate Justice Workshop programme – 29 & 30 May

The inaugural University of St Andrews Climate Week will run from 27-30 May 2024, with a series of events designed to highlight climate-themed research and build new cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Climate Week is a STAIRS-funded initiative, featuring: 

  • a flagship St Andrews Climate Change Conference on Tuesday 28 May;  
  • an impact workshop hosted by the Centre for Ancient Environmental Studies (CAES) on Monday 27 May;  
  • a climate justice workshop co-hosted by the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (CEPPA) on Wednesday 29 May-Thursday 30 May.   

All events are fully catered and free to attend. More information on each event is provided below. While the Climate Week events feature external speakers, registration is limited to staff and postgraduate students at the University of St Andrews.

Please REGISTER your interest for any Climate Week event(s) by 17:00 on 10 May.
You are welcome to join as many or few events as you wish.

We seek to accommodate participation from across the University including from early career researchers wherever possible, though spaces are somewhat limited, so may be allocated to ensure representation of relevant expertise. Participation will be confirmed in early May.

The St Andrews Climate Change Conference
Tuesday 28 May 
Confronting climate change is one of society’s greatest challenges. This conference aims to showcase research in climate change across multiple disciplines at St Andrews and create an interdisciplinary network to enable transformative, collaborative research.   

Presentations will be delivered by St Andrews colleagues spanning multiple disciplines and topics:   

  • Ocean, ice, and climate: feedbacks in the climate system
    Graeme MacGilchrist (Earth and Environmental Sciences)   
  • Painting, extraction, and combustion
    Stephanie O’Rourke (Art History)  
  • Volcanic climate forcing and Mediterranean societal change in the 420s BCE
    Andrea Burke (Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Ruben Post (Classics)  
  • Philosophy of the climate crisis and its solutions
    Derek Ball and Alex Douglas (Philosophy) 
  • Future landscape optimisation for peri-urban adaptation in African cities
    Jessica Thorn (Geography and Sustainable Development) 

Keynote: We are delighted to welcome Prof Thomas Stocker, President of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bern, and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I, for a virtual keynote talk and discussion.
The conference will be run as an in-person event.  We plan to record some of the presentations. 

Impact Workshop by the Centre for Ancient Environmental Studies (CAES)
Monday 27 May 
‘Past Perspectives: How can premodern environmental research be made useful in the climate emergency?’ 
The human species has forever been adapting to dynamic environmental conditions. The premodern world provides a laboratory of various experiments in human-environment interactions: a rich history of successes and failures, acute and chronic pressures, false-starts and path dependencies, resilience and vulnerabilities—all operating on a global scale over the longue durée. How should we collate, compare, and engage critically with this past record in order to drive change in the modern climate crisis? 

The workshop will feature presentations and discussion from colleagues across several schools at St Andrews and other Scottish Universities, plus two high profile invited keynote speakers: Prof. Rebecca Hardin (University of Michigan) and Dr. Christopher Schliephake (Augsburg University). 
These keynote talks will be delivered as hybrid events. The rest of the workshop will be in-person only.

Climate Justice: Transdisciplinary and Intercultural Conversations 
Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 May  
How can the disparity between global climate impact and uneven responsibilities be squared with the ideal of climate justice?  How do epistemic infrastructures (IPCC, UN) interact with communities on the global and local level?  And how are climate policies and priorities inflected by questions of distance (space and time)?  
Co-hosted by the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (CEPPA), this workshop will address these questions with short presentations and discussion from scholars from St Andrews and beyond, spanning multiple cultures and disciplines. Note that spaces to attend are limited, so will be allocated to ensure balance of representation and expertise.
This workshop will be in-person only. 

For more information on any of these events please contact the Climate Week team via [email protected]. 

We hope to see you at a Climate Week event in May.

Organising committee: 
Derek Ball, Andrea Brock, Andrea Burke, Michael Byrne, Tom Cowton, Graeme MacGilchrist, Alan Miller, James Palmer, James Rae, Mara van der Lugt, and STACEES (St Andrews Network for Climate. Energy, Environment and Sustainability).  

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