Prominent national figures from the fields of scientific research, communication and policy making will be attending a major conference organised by Plymouth University.
Sustainable Earth 2016 will comprise two days of inspirational speakers, networking opportunities and creative workshops designed to spark and encourage collaborations which can embed sustainable thinking as a way of life.
It will include keynote addresses from, among others, Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser in the United Kingdom; Wendy Darke, former Head of the BBC’s Natural History Unit; Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth; and Anthony Hobley, Chief Executive Officer of Carbon Tracker.
There will also be research presentations and seminars led by academics at the University, and representatives of organisations including the University of Iceland, the Environment Agency, Westcountry Rivers Trust, and the Salvation Army.
The conference is being organised by the University’s Sustainable Earth Institute, which organises a series of events aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge about a range of issues affecting society and the environment across the UK.
Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication and Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute, said: “There is some great research being conducted in Plymouth on sustainability issues, not just in the city and the region, but globally, and this is our chance to showcase that. Many of the concerns that will feature are pressing and complex, but as well as being challenging and provocative, we want Sustainable Earth 2016 to be a positive experience. It’s not all doom and gloom – there are some great uplifting stories to be told.”
The Sustainable Earth Institute aims to facilitate cutting-edge and interdisciplinary research and innovative approaches that build resilience to global challenges.
It connects academics in the sciences, engineering, arts, humanities, health and business with regional and national enterprises, community groups and individuals.
That breadth of work will be reflected at the conference, taking place on June 23 and 24, with the opening day including sessions on health and wellbeing, biodiversity and conservation, and cities and communities. The second day will then focus on themes including water, energy, responsible consumption and production, climate change, resources and education.
Delegates will get the chance to hear how Plymouth University is influencing national and international thinking on many of these issues, and to tour cutting edge research and engagement facilities including the Marine Building, Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre and the Immersive Vision Theatre.