Climate change is a social issue! – Reframing and shaping Climate’s narratives, geographies, histories, and politics

event 7th May 2024
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Climate change and sustainability are social issues, to a large extent perpetuated by social, political, and economic systems that shape and govern our access to resources, livelihood possibilities, and capacity to change, as well as to utilise old and new technologies and livelihood practices in order to mitigate and adapt to new realities. Furthermore, the way we talk about and frame these issues also shapes how we conceive of solutions and our abilities as individuals and communities to act.

Cambridge Zero, the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH), and Climate And Sustainability Education Series (CASES) invite you to the Symposium 'Climate change is a social issue! taking place at the Alison Richard Building on the 7th May 2024.The symposium will bring into focus the impact and contributions the social sciences, arts, and humanities have had on climate and sustainability-related discussions, ranging from engaging communities and practitioners to instigate climate action; (re-)framing climate and environmental narratives, solutions, and technologies; allaying emotions of anxieties, grief and loss; contextualising the ‘place’, geographies, and politics of green transitions and climate-related negotiations; to creating usable and applied histories and archaeologies. Changing our understanding of climate change and sustainability issues, how they arose, and how they can exacerbate unjust transitions is a huge endeavour that is hard to quantify and hardly recognised, but has potentially huge social impacts.

The symposium will feature a number of keynote presentations from senior Cambridge academics, and we are inviting submissions from Early Career Researchers (Cambridge Postdocs, PhD and Masters students) to present their research. The symposium aims is to highlight the necessity of social science, humanities, and arts research around climate change as well as to strengthen collaboration cross-disciplinary collaboration including with STEM disciplines, business, and others, in order to make social, policy, economic, and technological advances more impactful at local and national scales.

The symposium will also be the launch of the seminar series Climate And Sustainability Education Series (CASES).




We invite researchers to speak on (but not limited to):

  • Changing and re-framing climate narratives among communities, authorities, and policy makers
  • New frameworks that help communities, businesses, and authorities to adapt to new climate realities and increase access to resources
  • The impact of climate policies, systems, and technologies on politics, economics, and societies
  • The use, re-use, and (re-)invention of old and new social practices, livelihood strategies, infrastructure, and technologies to adapt and mitigate new climate realities
  • Localisation of climate and environmental change
  • Climate communication that makes the effects of climate and sustainability more tangible, relatable and experiential
  • Shaping perspectives on health through climate and vice versa
  • Barriers and solutions to sustainable and just net-zero transitions
  • Religious thought and practice as motivator, resistor and/or guide for climate engagement

Cambridge Early Career Researchers can submit their abstract here!