Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lecture 5 - Sept 12 (13-15) - Sabine Höhler

Time and place: Wednesday September 12, 13-15 in lecture hall B2.

Title: "Spaceship Earth: Sufficiency and Efficiency Ideals in the Environmental Age"
Guest: Sabine Höhler, Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH

Talk: At the time of rising environmental consciousness in the 1960's, "Spaceship Earth" became a metaphor to denote the earth's fragility as well as a model for a sustainable future. The spaceship reconciled sufficiency and efficiency ideals. While a spaceship like the ark held the hope of preserving life and nature, systems ecology and biosphere technology used it as a model for efficient environmental management on Earth and beyond. I will discuss how, between 1960 and 1990, Earth's biosphere was  seen and replicated as a complex self-contained and self-sustained life-support system.

About: Sabine Höhler is Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at KTH. Originally trained as a physicist, her research centers on the history of modern science and technology, particularly the history of the earth sciences in the 19th and the 20th century. Among her fields of interest are new global history, environmental history and the history of ecology. Presently she explores the intersections of ecology and economy in the view of ecosystems as service providers.

Literature to read before the lecture:

- Boulding, Kenneth (1966). The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth, in "Environmental Quality in a Growing Economy", Essays from the Sixth RFF Forum on Environmental Quality, edited by Henry Jarrett (pp. 3-14). Baltimore, John Hopkins Press.
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Fuller, Richard Buckminister (1969). Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press. Extract from chapter 4, "Spaceship Earth" (5 pages).
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Höhler, Sabine (2010). The Environment as a Life Support System: The Case of Biosphere 2". History and Technology, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 39-58. NoteAvailable in Bilda

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