Interdisciplinarity and the Future of the Planet

Thursday 30 April, 9am Eastern / 9pm China
Zoom: 695-290-0771

Interdisciplinarity lies at the heart of Duke Kunshan University’s innovative curriculum for the 21st century. Recently DKU appointed James Miller, Co-Director of the Humanities Research Center to be its first Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Strategy. Join Professor Miller and students from the HumanSpace+ research group as they embark on a series of conversations with leading theorists and practitioners of interdisciplinarity in the world today to explore how interdisciplinarity is tied to innovation and future of knowledge.

Thomas Bruhn

The third conversation in this series is with Dr Thomas Bruhn from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) at Potsdam University. Dr  Bruhn is a physicist who has been working transdisciplinarily at the IASS since 2012. His research initially focused on climate engineering and CO2 utilisation. In 2016 he began to co-lead the AMA (A Mindset for the Anthropocene) project together with Dr Zoe Lüthi on the question how the cultivation of mental qualities like mindfulness and compassion can contribute to sustainability. He has also been engaged in research on collective learning and co-creation in the context of political decision-making for sustainability since 2017. Dr Bruhn’s  ambition is to bring together a variety of stakeholders in reflexive processes that allow for the emergence of truly shared perspectives and action pathways for a context-specific implementation of specific sustainability targets.

During this conversation we will learn from Dr Bruhn’s extensive experience of leading teams who are working on the complex humanistic, social, political, and scientific challenge of sustainability. During our conversation, we will focus on how scientists, politicians and individuals can work together to achieve the profound social change that is necessary for dealing with climate change and transitioning to a sustainable society.

  • How should scientists and engineers best engage with political leaders and the broader public?
  • Does the response to COVID-19 provide a realistic model for how concerted action across all sectors of society can take place?
  • How can meaningful social transformation based on scientific issues like climate change take place?

Grappling with these questions directly addresses DKU’s aspiration to be a leading global university in China that takes innovation in curriculum, pedagogy and research to heart.