Impressions from a first-timer at COP21

When I told friends and co-workers that I would be attending the COP21 climate summit, the first response I got was usually “cool!” followed by “so what are you actually going to do there??” Well, I knew what I would be doing there: for months now, I have been working on behalf of the IASS...
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EGUPolicy: An Expert Discussion on Ozone – Working at the Science-Policy Interface

This post was originally written for the EGUPolicy column, a monthly feature of the European Geophysical Union’s official blog, GeoLog. The original post appeared here on December 2, 2015. As scientists and researchers we are increasingly being asked to conduct or participate in interdisciplinary (working across disciplines) or transdisciplinary (working with stakeholders outside of academia)...
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The Benefits of EU Environmental Policy for Great Britain: Q&A with R. Andreas Kraemer

The British House of Commons is holding an inquiry into European environmental policy tomorrow (2 December 2015). The aim is to assess the extent to which EU environmental objectives and policies have succeeded in tackling environmental issues in the UK. This is to inform the debate ahead of the referendum on EU membership that the...
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The Arctic Circle – A Report from Reykjavik

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Reykjavik to attend Arctic Circle 2015, a large gathering bringing together scientists, policy makers, civil society, intergovernmental organisations and industry representatives (the accompanying short film provides a snapshot of the event). The gathering is the brainchild of the Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and aims to...
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The Theory and Practice of Disaster Risk Reduction: Q&A with Nina Köksalan

The second international Potsdam Summer School drew to a close on 23 September. Over 10 days, 40 participants from various fields and 28 different countries discussed this year’s Summer School theme, “Facing Natural Hazards”, with renowned scientists from Potsdam-based research institutes and international experts. One of those participants was Nina Köksalan. Nina studied geography, art...
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“Many Causes of Natural Disasters are Political and Social”: Q&A with David Alexander

The growing world population, climate change, rapid urbanisation, and the international interdependence of economies are all increasing our vulnerability to natural hazards. Such major global challenges are the focus of the second international Potsdam Summer School on “Facing Natural Hazards”, which is taking place from 14 to 23 September. One of the most well-known researchers...
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Climate Change and the Imagination: Q&A with Manjana Milkoreit

The IASS recently hosted a presentation titled Imagination in World Politics – Climate Change, the Mind and the Future by Manjana Milkoreit, a postdoctoral fellow at Arizona State University. In a ‘flash fiction’ exercise after the talk, participants collectively developed very short fictional stories about the future, in which climate change impacts have become a...
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The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement – UN Climate Conference in Bonn Brings Clarity for Legal Architecture

The eleven-day UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn drew to a close last Thursday and with it the deliberations among international climate law experts in which I myself participated. The main aim of the Bonn meeting was to work on a draft text for the long-awaited climate change agreement. This agreement is due to be...
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Economic Expertise: A Historical Perspective on a Topical Issue

In late 2013 the IASS held a workshop on “Political Economy”, which focused on the transfer of economic knowledge into politics. I had been following discussions on this subject ever since the 2008 financial crisis. While economics has been in for particularly strong criticism since then, from within the discipline and beyond it, demands for...
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