Features of a Sustainability Science

Pedro Walpole, SJ

Paid Article

In 2020 the success or failure of the twenty-first meeting of the Commission of Parties of the United Nations (COP21 Paris) will be remembered as it gave the responsibility to each nation to go home and review commitments.[1] Over 110 countries signed up to the Nationally Determined Contributions scheme.[2] The year 2015 was also notable for a retake on human needs and action to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) released in New York.[3]

Not tangential to these events and embracing the whole of humanity was the Holy Father’s encyclical Laudato Si’, “Care for our Common Home.”[4] Others might remember the disasters of the year associated with changes in climate[5] and some of the climate records reached.[6]

There is something else happening, as scientific knowledge is gathered and a social dialogue of needs is strengthened: the actual way we think is changing. Now as the world focuses on the problems, a growing matrix of human values is challenging how we live. People and institutions are thinking with the times asbasic values now enter the realm of why and how we do science, and what we communicate and teach.

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