CFI Highlights 2015-2016

In May of 2015, CFI received a two-year $100,000 Innovative Research, Teaching and Mentorship in Energy and the Environment award from the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE). In addition, the original sponsor and continuing partner of CFI’s work, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), presented CFI with an additional $100,000 two-year award. These contributions are supporting CFI’s objective of integrating positive and normative perspectives on humanity’s future, with a special focus on climate change.

Cameron Langford ‘15, authored a multiple prize-winning senior thesis in Politics on the ethics of scientific communication in democracy  as an outgrowth of an upper level undergraduate seminar taught by Melissa Lane on “Science and Democracy” in spring 2014. For her thesis entitled Epistemic Ecosystems: A Theory of Science Communications, Langford was awarded the 2015 New York Herald Prize in Politics and a University Center for Human Values Thesis Prize. Lane designed and taught the upper level undergraduate seminar with the support of the original PIIRS research community, from which CFI evolved.

Langford, who is a 2015-16 Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, co-authored a paper with Lane for an edited volume on Global Environmental Assessments at a crossroads: Lessons learned, emerging challenges, and future options. The invitation to participate in the volume came from Martin Kowarsch and Ottmar Edenhofer in Berlin, and stemmed from Edenhofer’s spring 2015 visit to PEI. During this visit, Edenhofer delivered two talks to the CFI community and a third at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative. In September 2015, Langford participated in an expert meeting in Berlin, to present the co-authored paper. This paper is also serving as the basis of a contribution to the Social Science Research Council Working Group on Climate Change that CFI steering committee member Robert Keohane is co-chairing and on which Melissa Lane is serving.

In addition, CFI has been busy this fall hosting 5 seminars and co-sponsored PIIRS 3-day symposium entitled “Conflict Shorelines: History, Politics and Climate Change” hosted by Eduardo Cadava (English), Kelly Caylor (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Rachel Price (Spanish and Portuguese), Paulo Tavares (Visiting Fellow in the Program in Latin American Studies), and Eyal Weizman (Global Scholar in the School of Architecture) that took place November 12-14, 2015 at Princeton University. The symposium explored the relations among colonial history, contemporary conflicts, and climate change and took its point of departure from the growing number of conflicts that today unfold in complex relation to climatic and environmental transformations.