Environmental Social Sciences: Current Issues and Future Perspectives

Workshop at the University of Bern, August 26–28, 2020


Environmental issues and mitigation strategies are among the most important topics of our time. Individual awareness and behaviour as well as economic developments and political decisions are linked to environmental deterioration, and in turn have severe impacts on the society. Using analytical and empirical tools, social sciences can play a key role for identifying and disentangling different pathways through which individual awareness and behaviour, social and economic structures, geographical patterns, and political actions are linked to environmental issues. In this workshop, we want to connect environmental research from sociology, economics, psychology, geography, political sciences, communication studies, education, and related environmental social sciences. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Current issues and future perspectives of climate change mitigation
  • The causes and consequences of environmental deterioration
  • Adaption and acceptance of new sustainable technologies and mitigation strategies
  • Individual environmental consciousness and behaviour
  • Environmental social dilemmas
  • The geographical and social distribution of environmental hazards
  • The link between political action, economic performance and sustainability
  • Methodological aspects of environmental studies in the social sciences

Keynote speakers are:

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Bernauer (ETH Zurich)
  • Prof. Dr. Henning Best (University of Kaiserslautern)
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Diekmann (University of Leipzig

The workshop takes place at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Bern, Switzerland from Wednesday 26.08.2020 15:30 to Friday 28.08.2020 13:30. We will have a workshop dinner at Restaurant Rosengarten on Thursday evening with a scenic view of the historic city of Bern (a UNESCO World Heritage site). The workshop fee including provisions for coffee breaks, lunch and the workshop dinner is 45 EUR / 49 CHF. Furthermore, we are happy to provide special conditions for accommodation in some hotels downtown Bern. Details will be available upon registration. Due to funding from the Academy of Sociology, we are also able to provide a limited number of travel grants (300 EUR each) for young researchers without other funding opportunities.

We look forward to your interesting contribution and hope to see you in Bern this summer, Sebastian Mader and Tobias Rüttenauer