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Past Event

Seminar: Dr Clare Heywood, "Arming the future: geoengineering and intergenerational justice"

Please note the change of time from 1300 to 1400

This semianr is hosted by the Future of Humanity Institute and the Institute for Science and Ethics Climate Justice Picture

Speaker: Dr Clare Heywood, James Martin Fellow, Oxford Geoengineering Programme

Abstract: Lack of global agreement to curb GHG emissions to a sufficient degree has prompted interest in geoengineering as a response to climate change. Some climate scientists are increasingly vociferous in their calls for a research programme on geoengineering. One of their main justifications is that conducting research on geoengineering will be of benefit to future generations who will otherwise experience the impacts of severe climate change, either by increasing their options, or by providing protection against some sort of "climate emergency". It has also been claimed that research on geoengineering could constitute an injustice towards future generations. by putting them in a position where they have to choose a "lesser evil" . I assess both kinds of arguments and suggest that the most convincing (though not overwhelmingly convincing) argument for pursuing geoengineering research is based on non-ideal considerations of justice.

Biography: Clare's primary research interests are the ethics and governance issues raised by the prospect of using geoengineering as a response to climate change. More generally, she is interested in issues of global justice and climate change, especially the cultural dimensions of climate justice (the subject of her D.Phil thesis), and justice towards future generations.

This event is part of a series:

James Martin Advanced Research Seminar Series - Michaelmas 2011

Led by Professor Julian Savulescu and Professor Nick Bostrom, these seminars provide an opportunity to discuss ethical issues surrounding the future of humanity and emerging sciences. Each presentation lasts for approximately one hour (40 minutes talk and 20 minutes discussion). Up-to date information on the programme, including abstracts and speaker bios can be found at the link below:

Event Details

29 November 2011 14:00 - 15:30

More Information


Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School

34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets)