"Interdisciplinary Forum: Peace & Sustainability"
The two major themes of the future, sustainability and peace, are obviously interconnected but at the University of Cologne so far we have little research and teaching activities that combine both aspects. Within the Interdisciplinary Forum we try to provide a platform to further discuss both topics with reference to current research in the two fields, linkages between them, and prospective fields of cooperation.
This includes questions about interactions between climate change and international conflicts, how science can contribute to the accomplishment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and how scientific approaches can be integrated in the wider society, or what relevance sustainability has in other social and cultural contexts.
Within the Interdisciplinary 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 field of peace and sustainability studies at the University of Cologne. As a first wider activity within the forum we organized a series of lectures with discussions in the summer term 2021 that introduced the relevant research fields at the University of Cologne and searched for possible interfaces.
The lecture series “Peace & Sustainability Studies” builds on a series of events held in recent years. Most notably are: the “Physics and Ethics” seminar that has been organized since 2017 at the physics institutes, the interdisciplinary course “Social and Ethical Responsibility of Scientists: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”, a cooperation between meteorology and anthropology in summer 2017 and the winter term 2017/18, the lecture series “Climate Change” at the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology in 2019/2020, and the “Public Climate School” of the Students4Future in 2019 and 2020.
From a practical point of view, the lecture series provided an overview of existing activities at the University of Cologne and served as a forum for interdisciplinary dialogues, including potential cooperation and networks to be established among the participants. We tried to develop a better understanding of how peace and sustainability studies at the University of Cologne might converge, also in connection with existing initiatives, such as EUniWell.