Information détaillée concernant le cours

[ Retour ]

Nature, Scientific Enquiry, and Social Power: Towards a more Critical Physical Geography?


20 novembre 2015

Responsable de l'activité

Stuart Lane


Prof. Stuart Lane (Unil) et Prof. Christian Kull (Unil)


Prof. Stuart Lane (Unil) et Prof. Christian Kull (Unil) Prof. Rebecca Lave (Department of Geography, Indiana University, USA) Gabrielle Bouleau (Ingenieure-chercheuse at IRSTEA (National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture, France)


Nature, Scientific Enquiry, and Social Power: Towards a more Critical Physical Geography?

Rebecca Lave and colleagues (2014) have recently advocated a more critical kind of environmental geography, one with implications for both physical geography and human geography. They argue that never has there been a greater need for geographical enquiry that combines "critical attention to relations of social power with deep knowledge of a particular field of biophysical science or technology in the service of social and environmental transformation … Its central precept is that we cannot rely on explanations grounded in physical or critical human geography alone because socio-biophysical landscapes are as much the product of unequal power relations, histories of colonialism, and racial and gender disparities as they are of hydrology, ecology, and climate change." (2014, 2-3). That is environmental questions/problems and the social order are co-produced. The work of Gabrielle Bouleau provides fundamental evidence of this co-production in relation to water science. Her work on river management and ecological indicators in France and Europe focuses on the overlaps between social (human) and scientific (physical) factors, and raises broader questions as to how science and society interrelate, and what that means for environmental management.

This workshop will bring these two scholars together to reflect upon the relationships between nature, scientific enquiry and social power. It is opportune because whilst studies of the co-production of environmental concerns with social order have been dominant in critical social science for some time, including human geography. It will be supported by perspectives from two Lausanne geographers concerned with such issues, Stuart Lane and Christian Kull, and there will be ample time for discussion and debate.


Lausanne, UNIL



Délai d'inscription 17.11.2015
short-url short URL

short-url URL onepage