2016/07/26 08:40 Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey, “Linking Science, Policy, and Ethics in Sustainability Science at the University of Colorado”, ISSS 2016 Boulder

Plenary @ISSSMeeting @JeremiahOsGo, Keynote #isss2016USA, 60th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences and 1st Policy Congress of ISSS, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Day 1 theme:  Global Science and Assessment

Plenary III: Connecting Human and Natural System(s) Research

  • Description: Current ecological trends present a dramatic picture of potentially catastrophic change in the world. At the same time, our human and societal response mechanisms seem poorly designed for coping with complexity, and science seems unable to address systemic problems and systems as a whole. What are the challenges in science, policy, and ethics to become a sustainably healthy civilization with creative options for the future?

Chair: Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey, University of Colorado, Boulder

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

John Kineman on panel discussion last night

[Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey]

Plenary today about connecting human and natural systems research

Had met John Kineman in Socio-Ecological Sustinability Leadership course

  • John referenced ISSS, did ISSS, found lots of hits before finding the right one
  • Shared language is important for building shared identity, which is associated with community, not knowing sparks curiosity
  • Specificity matters: bridging

Speaker #1 (as scheduled):  Carol Wessman, director the CIRES Ecosystem Sciences Division

  • Landscape and ecosystem scales
  • Remote sensing

Speaker #2: Bruce Milne, W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair, University of New Mexico

Speaker #3:  Josh Tewksbury, Future Earth, Global Hub Director, Colorado

Carol Wessman has come back with a nasty bug, so Jeremiah will be speaking on her behalf

  • Given this charge at 10 pm last night

Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey is a Ph.D. student in Environmental Studies, and with the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey (left)

[Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey]

Care about relation of people to each other, and relation of people to the land

  • John Muir

At age 15, wrote an essay on helping people to find harmony between people and the natural world

I am I, plus my surroundings:  Jose Orteaga Y Gasset

To love this life completely, without complete understanding

Despite training in science, systems are as reducible as led to believe

  • Understand system components, how they fit together
  • More than completing a circle, not disassembling and assembling: relationships, new behaviours, new dynamics across scales, new systems states

Training in aquatics, but realized didn’t understand systems

  • Led to science policy

Mowing lawn with a reel push mower

  • If the system isn’t broken, don’t fix it
  • (Married for 20 years)
  • Physical labour seems to help preparing for a talk
  • Wheel stuck
  • Took apart, found gear sheared off
  • Removed broken gear, reassembled, but then discovered that the wheel was still stuck
  • Hadn’t considered the whole system

Mid-career course correction

  • Looked at multidisciplinary programs
  • Switched disciplines, more enlightened understanding of systems
  • ENVS program helps to understand larger systems:  agricultural, food, neighbourhoods, …
  • Multiple ways of viewing the world, thinking and acting
  • Theoretical and program
  • Incubator for systems thinking and research

Class with John Kineman, may have found a home

  • Linkages between systems found
  • A place where Aristotle’s four causes come together


Defining self, why not say a soul embodied in a human body?

  • Did, in a way, more than sum of the parts
  • Oldest part of self could be the soul

#isss, #isss2016