Philosophy of sustainability science research project receives funding

Tree that looks like a brain inside profile of head

C. Tyler DesRoches, an Assistant Professor in the School of Sustainability, is part of a research team that recently won a €10,000 (approximately $11,400 grant) from the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science to develop a new research project entitled “Philosophy of Sustainability Science.” The primary purpose of this project will be to develop a systematic and philosophically sophisticated understanding of sustainability science, legitimize it as a field of science and propose effective strategies for its development.

DesRoches explained that a philosophy of sustainability science will answer many questions, including: “What, if anything, is distinctive about sustainability science? What makes sustainability science different from other scientific practices? What is the role of values, particularly ethical values, in sustainability science? Is ethics essential to sustainability science? Finally, sustainability scientists are keen to promote interdisciplinarity, but is scientific integration always a good thing? What conditions must be satisfied for successful interdisciplinary exchange?”

Other members of the research team are philosophers of science Michiru Nagatsu from the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability, University of Helsinki; Taylor Davis from the Department of Philosophy, Purdue University; and Robert Lepenies from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research. DesRoches said his group is excited to accept this seed funding and explore sustainability science from a new perspective.