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Climate and beyond

Knowledge Production about Planet Earth and the Global Environment as Indicators of Social Change

January 23rd – 25th, 2013, University of Bern


Photo courtesy of Bern Tourismus

The Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research of the University of Bern, the Institute of History of the University of Bern and the History Department of the University of Zurich are organising a conference to bring together historians of the earth sciences and environmental historians. It aims to explore the social, cultural and political changes induced by earth scientists and the knowledge and institutions they have created over the last two centuries.

Scope of the Conference

The conference will look at the issue of social change through the lens of earth matters. What do we learn about societies, their norms and collective mentalities by analysing how people dealt with planet earth, its history, climate, surface patterns, or the mechanisms underlying its dynamic structure? Topics of the precirculated papers include, for instance, the debate on desertification in the 19th century, the idea of deep time for social thinking about the future or the history of Arctic research. Each paper presentation will be followed by 20 minutes of comment and discussion. Invited speakers are Erhard Oeser (Vienna, A) and Naomi Oreskes (San Diego, USA). The public evening lecture is given by Joachim Radkau (Bielefeld, D). See the programme for more details.


The conference will take place at the University of Bern close to the medieval city centre of Bern which is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. Bern is a short train ride from the Alps of the Bernese Oberland offering excellent skiing.

University of Bern | Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research | Falkenplatz 16 | CH-3012 Bern | info@oeschger.unibe.ch | Tel +41 31 631 31 45 
© University of Bern 2012-07-27 | Imprint

Quick Links

Arrow Announcement

Arrow Programme

Arrow Flyer (pdf, 511kB)

The Conference Climate and Beyond is supported by:

Oeschger Centre, University of Bern
Swiss National Science Foundation
Fondation Johanna Dürmüller-Bol
History Department, University of Zurich