- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 7304
Building Sustainable Future Needs More than Science
“Because human decisions and behavior are the result of ethics, values and emotion, and because sustainability directly involves our values and ethical concerns, science alone is insufficient to make decisions about sustainability”- Thomas Dietz, assistant vice president for environmental research at Michigan State University
At a recent conference of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, many of the experts present argued that the path to a truly sustainable future is through the muddy waters of emotions, values, ethics, and most importantly, imagination. I found this very interesting. This is very similar to what I, a none-scientist, but an economist, have been saying about economics for a long time now. This is why I wish to share the gist of the Vancouver forum with you, followed by a recommendation for your consideration.
The conference observed that, contrary to popular belief, humans have failed to address the earth's worsening emergencies of climate change, species' extinction and resource over-consumption, not because of a lack of information, but because of a lack of imagination. I very much agree with this, as I believe same could be said for the failures of modern economics.
“Humans' perceptions of reality are filtered by personal experiences and values… as a result, the education and communication paradigm of "if we only knew better, we'd do better" is not working… "We don't live in the real world, but live only in the world we imagine."
“We live in our heads. We live in storyland," and "When we talk about sustainability we are talking about the future, how things could be. This is the landscape of imagination,"… "If we can't imagine a better world we won't get it."
“This imagining will be complex and difficult. Sustainability encompasses far more than just scientific facts – it also incorporates the idea of how we relate to nature and to ourselves.” Once again, I find myself in total agreement with these comments.
This is why I am calling for a dialogue between science, economics, ethics, spirituality and moral philosophy. Our disciplines whilst firmly committed to the highest standards of scholarly excellence, should nonetheless, be firmly for the common good, pursue and encourage discussion of the practical and ethical dimensions of economic and scientific action, with the intention to contribute to both the advancement of a good and valueable science, as well as the building of a good economy in a good society.
I will be delighted to hear from you, if you are interested to follow this call for dialogue and action further.
To read more on the Vancouver conference see:
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 5781
Wikipedia founder to help in government's research scheme
Academic spring campaign aims to make all taxpayer-funded academic research available for free online
…”The move will embolden what has been dubbed the "academic spring" – a growing campaign among academics and research funders for open access in academic publishing. They want to unlock the results of research from behind the lucrative paywalls of journals controlled by publishing companies. Almost 11,000 researchers have signed up to a boycott of journals owned by the huge academic publisher Elsevier. Subscriptions to the thousands of research journals can cost a big university library millions of pounds each year – costs that have started to bite as budgets are squeezed. Harvard University, frustrated by the rising costs of journal subscriptions, recently encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls.”…
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 4915
Wealth for the Common Good is a network of business leaders, high-income individuals and partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation. We are “the 1 percent” that wants an economy that works for everyone. Our membership includes entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, engineers and elected officials of all backgrounds and from all over the country. Learn more about the individuals in our network.
Stephen King: I'm rich, tax me
In an expletive-filled condemnation of America's tax system, the bestselling novelist, who donates $4m a year to charity, says wealthy Americans have a 'moral imperative' to pay higher taxes
“Bestselling novelist Stephen King, who gives away $4m (£2.5m) a year in charitable donations, has issued an expletive-filled call to America to increase the rate of tax paid by the country's rich…King says it is a "practical necessity and a moral imperative" that "those who have received much must be obligated to pay ... in the same proportion", or the "first real ripples of discontent" seen in the Occupy protests "will just be the beginning".
Read the article:
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- Prof. Mofid to speak at the Awakened World 2012: Engaged Spirituality for the 21st Century, Rome-Florence, October 13-21, 2012
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