Lecture Series 2022

“Interdisciplinary Forum – Peace & Sustainability: Pollution”

Every Monday, 17:45 in lecture hall III of the main physics building.

One major aspect of a sustainability is the problem of pollution. But there is no easy definition of pollution. Every human culture creates artifacts and impacts that may be considered pollution by others. The meaning of “dirt” depends strongly on the context. It is first of all a social construct. However, conflicts will arise if natural resources are put at risk. The pollution of air, water, and soil are widely discussed but other forms may also lead to conflicts. In the summer 2022 lecture series we want to discuss the boundaries between usage and pollution and possible ways forward consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Noise pollution

Within the Interdisciplinary Forum we try to provide a platform to discuss  pollution across the disciplines with reference to current research at the University of Cologne, linkages between them, and prospective fields of cooperation.

Research at the University of Cologne deals with the pollution of air, water, soil, and space by potentially dangerous substances and waste, but also with pollution by heat, noise, light, and ionizing radiation. To assess the impacts geosciences and a wide range of social sciences are essential, but to come to solutions engineering, economy and law have to go hand in hand.

In the forum we wish to foster the dialogue between different disciplines and identify potential fields for interdisciplinary cooperation. We want to establish a working group of academics, students and other stakeholders who are involved in the fields of sustainability at the University of Cologne.

The lecture series “Pollution” builds on a series of events held in recent years. It is a continuation of the lecture series “Peace and Sustainability” from 2021 and tries to provide a continuity of interdisciplinary sustainability education involving students from all disciplines at the University of Cologne.

The lecture series will provide students and scholars with an overview of existing activities at the University of Cologne and serves as a forum for interdisciplinary dialogues on all aspects of sustainability, including potential cooperation and networks to be established among the participants.

The presentations and debates are designed to provide insights into practical questions on how interdisciplinary science can(not) work, the challenges and the opportunities of interdisciplinary work, to what extent research activities are currently linked at the university, and how scientists can deal with contradicting results and opinions. This also includes questions about good scientific practice and ethics in research work.

The series covers every Monday evening 17:45-19:15 during the summer semester. Each session contains presentation(s) of about 45 minutes and the same time for discussions on the presented topic and its relation to the overarching frame of the series. The sessions will happen in lecture hall III of the main physics building (building number 321).

Students who want to obtain credit points for the series need to register via KLIPS (limited number). All other interested persons can just join the weekly sessions and take part in the lectures and discussions. All members of the University of Cologne can access all the complementary materials and the recordings of the lectures through ILIAS.

The preliminary schedule for the summer term 2022 is :

April 4, 2022 Stefan Brackertz & Maurice Kirchner Military impacts on the environment
April 11, 2022 Hendrik Fuchs Air Pollution – Our Atmosphere as Chemical Reactor
April 25, 2022 Mrinalini Shinde The Role of the Polluter Pays Principle in Contemporary Environmental Law
May 2, 2022 Dorothee Schwieters Pollution, Racism, and Environmental Justice
May 9, 2022 Michael Bechtel Improving Public Support for Climate Action Through Multilateralism
May 16, 2022 Philip Lewis Light pollution and circadian biology
May 23, 2022 Volker Ossenkopf-Okada
Geoengineering – Solving the climate crisis by technology?
May 30, 2022 Christina Bogner Microplastics in the terrestrial environment
June 13, 2022 Felix Mosner & Johannes Schleef Global supply chains and their effect on peace
June 20, 2022 Matthias Dewald & Markus Schiffer & Erik Strub 

Release, Decommissioning, Disposal, Transmutation: Where is the radioactive waste going?

June 27, 2022 Volker Ossenkopf-Okada Space debris – an academic problem or a threat to civilization?
July 4, 2022 Gerda Kuiper The second-hand clothing trade in the Global South: A way to reduce waste or a source of pollution?
July 11, 2022 Participating students Presentation of their contributions