SC2.7 | Igniting Academic Activism for Urgent Climate Action
Igniting Academic Activism for Urgent Climate Action
Co-organized by CL3.2/GM13
Convener: Marthe Wens | Co-conveners: Sylvain Kuppel, Elodie Duyck, Riccardo Riva
| Tue, 16 Apr, 19:00–20:00 (CEST)
Room M1
Tue, 19:00
For decades, scientists have been sounding the alarm regarding the climate and ecological crisis. Each successive report has delivered alarming findings, yet regrettably, these warnings have been met with insufficient responses and political inertia. Consequently, the disastrous effects of human activity on land, water, and atmosphere persist, surpassing the Earth's system boundaries and posing significant threats to both nature and humanity [1,2]. Concurrently, an impassioned climate movement has emerged, led primarily by young activists demanding immediate climate action [3]. As the consequences of the climate crisis become increasingly evident, also scientists and academics are contemplating the most effective roles they can assume within our next to this movement [4,5,6].
This course explores the role of social movements in driving change. We'll discuss how scientists and academic institutions can contribute to urgent climate action. We highly encourage participants to share examples of how scientists can collaborate with their institutions to incorporate advocacy and activism into the academic narrative. Our goal is to inspire participants to think about their roles and provide stepping stones to take meaningful action. The course unfolds in three distinct parts.
1. Interdisciplinary insights: Invited experts will shed light on social movements and universities' roles in historical changes.
2. Scientists in action: Discussion on the pivotal roles scientists and institutions can play in climate justice today, using case studies by facilitators and participants.
3. Brainstorming ways forward: Through interactive discussions and group activities, we'll explore action avenues, from transformative changes in the university to joining non-violent civil disobedience actions.
This short course transcends traditional academic boundaries and seeks to nurture enthusiasm for collective academic action, empowering scientists to step out of their comfort zones and into a world in environmental emergency mode. The course is organized by scientists who are also members of Scientist Rebellion, which advocates for a paradigm shift in the role of scientists—from passive observers to proactive activists pressing for the urgent and necessary actions.
[1] IPCC AR6 SYR 2023 [2] Rockström et al. 2023 Nature [3] Shuman et al. 2021 JPSP [4] Artico et al. 2023 Front Sustain [5] Capstick et al. 2022 Nat. Clim. Chang. [6] Gardner et al. 2021 Front Sustain

This SC contains online contributions from Dr Gerrit Schaafsma (Phd on Climate change and civil disobedience), Dr Rose Abramoff (env. scientists and Scientist Rebellion member) and Dr Aaron Thierry (science communicator and environmental campaigner).

Session assets

Programme: Tue, 16 Apr | Room M1

Chairpersons: Marthe Wens, Sylvain Kuppel, Riccardo Riva
We end with dinner in the city centre - to informally continue discussion


  • Rose Abramoff, LSCE IPSL, France
  • Aaron Thierry
  • Gerrit Schaafsma