Home Morningside Events - Morningside Area Alliance Conferences Green Morningside Lectures At the Crossroads of Data, Environmental, and Climate Justice

At the Crossroads of Data, Environmental, and Climate Justice

The increasing recognition of traditional and indigenous knowledge as critical to environmental science (if not by researchers, then by the many funding agencies who require community involvement as part of their criteria), has led to an intensification of local engagement. Much of this recent goldrush has instituted troubling framings that flatten communities into homogeneous blocs with no rational concerns, motivations, and actions of their own. Many of the stories, histories, and voices of local communities are amplified, reinterpreted, and distorted by academic work. Framings that pose collaboration, interlocution, and “coproduction” as panaceas erase and obscure centuries of collaborative work with local communities that has, all the same, produced colonial, racist, and extractive science.

Many interdisciplinary scholars are aware of the very complex nature of local collaboration in field research, and the asymmetrical relationships, institutional and economic pressures, and geopolitics that are all embedded in these forms of work. They are also aware of the flagrant violation of rights and the persistent forms of colonial entrapment that can and do emerge out of local collaborations. For many, environmental (field) research presents a dynamic frontier of data injustice, environmental injustice, and climate injustice that is difficult to navigate and reconcile ethically and intellectually.

This two-day symposium is a set of honest conversations that does not seek to attribute blame, but furtively searches for greater understanding of the sets of challenges that lie ahead in a changing world that needs environmental research now more than ever. Calls for data justice, environmental justice, and climate justice often seek particular outcomes through proposed changes in practices, yet rarely are these sought outcomes or proposed practices – whether they are legal, technical, political, or cultural – scrutinized to understand the breadth of their impacts (advantageous, adverse, or ambivalent) on communities. What happens, though, if rights, dignity, and relations are instead centered in the pursuit of justice? This event will explore the present and future of the neoclassical scarcity postulate; the prospects of “sustainable” qualitative economic growth; the challenges of global justice and human flourishing within planetary boundaries; and the relationship between “generic” economic growth and the science/practice of climate mitigation and the protection of biodiversity.

Event Information

Open to Columbia University ID holders; Registration required. Please note that this event is held on two non-consecutive days from 9:30AM-2:00PM: April 10 and April 12, 2024.

Please contact Lydia Gibson at lng2127@columbia.edu with any questions. Hosted by the Center for Science and Society and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University.

Event Contact Information:
Lydia Gibson


Apr 10 2024


9:30 am - 2:00 pm


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