fr | en
  • Index
  • >News
  • >2024
  • >Environment: the EARTH Chair focuses on interdisciplinarity

Separated by coma

Environment: the EARTH Chair focuses on interdisciplinarity

The new EARTH Chair, created by the Centre Jean-Bodin, Centre for Legal and Political Research, seeks to bring together researchers in the humanities and social sciences around the challenges of the environmental crisis and to share the results with the general public. EARTH is the acronym for Environment, Adaptability, Risks, Transitions, Health. The new EARTH chair is sponsored by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

The response to climate change cannot be solely scientific and technical. It requires political guidelines, new rules, and a rebalancing of the geography and economy. All of this will have an impact on society.

The manifesto of the new EARTH Chair reads that "the ecological crisis requires a decompartmentalisation of knowledge and disciplines. This 'total scientific object' calls on multiple logics, issues, readings, and interpretations. This essential interplay requires an interdisciplinary dialogue, both between the human and social sciences (political, legal, economic, ethical, aesthetic, literary, philosophical, psychological, scientific, media, sociological and anthropological, geographical, and historical, etc.), and with the life sciences, plant sciences, engineering, health sciences, etc."

Encourage collaborations

The Chair was created in September 2023 at the University of Angers, by the Jean Bodin Centre for Legal and Political Research. François Hourmant, director of the unit says: “We have a dozen teacher-researchers at the Jean Bodin Centre who work on issues more or less related to the environment. We wanted to create a centre that would enable collaboration beyond law and political sciences, and give visibility to this theme."

Six areas of research have been defined (see below). While the Chair seeks to promote the development of academic knowledge, in particular through theses and collaborative projects, it is also committed to sharing this knowledge with the general public through initiatives to popularise science, and with decision-makers and socio-economic players through value-adding work (sectoral diagnostics, risk assessment, development of legal frameworks, etc.).

The non-profit organisation Intérêt à Agir is already one of the Chair's first partners. "Our next objective will be to expand our network of partners and sponsors," explains François Hourmant, professor of political science, who co-directs the Chair with Sophie Lambert-Wiber, lecturer in private law.

Regular events 

The first scientific meeting was organised by the Chair on 26 January. The event, entitled "Justice and Ecological Damage", was organised under the direction of Bernard Gauriau and brought together academics and legal professionals, including a London lawyer and Éric Bouillard, Public Prosecutor at the Court of Angers.

Three other events were scheduled for March, two of which are part of the 2024 "water" theme:

  • On 14 March, a conference-debate on "Sustainable finance: myth or reality?" led by Solène Ringler, Senior Lecturer in Private Law;
  • On 22 March, a meeting on "The water cycle: ecological and legal issues."
  • On 28 March, a seminar on the theme of "Granting legal personality to rivers, a solution for protecting the environment?"

The EARTH chair focuses on 6 areas of research

  1. Epistemology (François Hourmant)
  2. Corporate responsibility (Matthieu Zolomian)
  3. One Health (Jean Fougerouse and Rosane Gauriau)
  4. Risks (Bernard Gauriau and Sophie Lambert-Wiber)
  5. Environmental shield (Arnaud de Lajartre)
  6. Governance (Solène Ringler)