S.T. Lee Public Workshop: Historical and Society Perspectives on Climate and Society

ST Lee Workshop April 2024

S.T. Lee Public Workshop: Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Climate and Society
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. | West Building, Lecture Hall

Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Climate and Society

9:00–9:15         Nicola Di Cosmo (IAS): Introductory remarks

Morning Session CHAIR:  Gabriel Vecchi (Princeton University)
9:15–10:30       Jürg Luterbacher, EU MedEWSa Consortium
Early Warning for all (EW4ALL): Opportunities for UN Organizations and Scientists to Collaborate on Global Climate challenges

10:30–10:45 Coffee Break
10:45–12:15      Michael Frachetti, Washington University in St. Louis
The ‘Truth' as We Know It: Scientific Renderings of Paleoclimate and Ancient Societies in Archaeological Perspective

12:15–1:15 Lunch
Afternoon Session CHAIR:  Andrea Rinaldo (École Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne)
1:15–2:30         Julia Adeney Thomas, University of Notre Dame
History’s Natural Turns: Climate, Environment, and the Anthropocene as Frameworks for Historians?
2:30–3:45          Elena Xoplaki, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen
Climate Variability and Societal Resilience: Challenges and Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Studies

3:45–4:00 Coffee Break
4:00–5:15         Nicola Di Cosmo, IAS
Connecting Paleoclimate and Historical Research:  A Critical View
5:15–6:30          Andrea Rinaldo & Gabriel Vecchi
General Discussion and Concluding Remarks
NICOLA DI COSMO is the Henry Luce Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies. His work has focused on the history of Chinese and Inner Asian frontiers from the ancient to the modern periods, history of nomadic peoples, and history of late imperial China. His most recent work tries to integrate paleoclimatic data and historical sources, with special reference to the history of Medieval Eurasia and the Mongol Empire. Studies in this area have been published, among others, in Scientific ReportsNature GeoscienceClimate Change, and Science Advances. https://www.ias.edu/scholars/di-cosmo

MICHAEL FRACHETTI is Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology and Director/PI: Spatial Analysis, Interpretation, and Exploration (SAIE) laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of Pastoralist Landscapes: Social Interaction in Bronze Age Eurasia (2008, Cambridge University Press).  He was elected as a foreign corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute in 2017 and is Associate Editor of the Journal of World Prehistory. As a National Geographic Explorer, he has led decades of archaeological surveys and excavations in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan focused on the ecology and life ways of mobile pastoralists from the Bronze Age to the Medieval era. From 2021–24 he participated as core-member of the interdisciplinary research group “Volcanoes, Climate and History” at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF - Bielefeld Germany). He is Honorary Professor at Northwest University, Xi’an (China).
JÜRG LUTERBACHER is Director of Science and Innovation and Chief Scientist at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Appointed by UN Secretary General Guterres in 2020, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, a body that advises UN leaders on new trends in science/technology. At WMO secretariat, Luterbacher is responsible for the global programs World Climate Research, World Weather Research and Global Atmosphere Watch. He graduated from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and has been Professor of Climatology/Climate Dynamics/Climate Change in Germany. He was a lead author of IPCC AR5 and published more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. https://public.wmo.int/en/about-us/secretariat/j%C3%BCrg-luterbacher
ANDREA RINALDO is a leading authority in hydrologic sciences. His pioneering research has led to new insights into the complex ways in which water shapes the Earth’s surface and ecosystems, and has provided in-depth knowledge of how solutes and populations move at varying speed, both on and beneath the Earth’s surface. Professor Rinaldo’s quantitative analyses provide a fundamental understanding of rivers as ecological corridors. With the development and maintenance of such corridors being largely responsible for the spread of aquatic species and their populations, this research is key for helping policies and practices improve the preservation of species. Professor Rinaldo’s models of water’s role in disease transmission have been applied to real-world hotspots of diseases, such as cholera and schistosomiasis in Haiti, South Sudan, and Burkina Faso, linking fundamental research to real-life application. https://siwi.org/latest/hydrologist-andrea-rinaldo-wins-stockholm-water-prize-2023/ ;  https://people.epfl.ch/andrea.rinaldo
JULIA ADENEY THOMAS is an intellectual historian focusing on Japan and on the Anthropocene. She is the award-winning author of Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese IdeologyStrata and Three Human Stories; and The Anthropocene: A Multidisciplinary Approach, written with geologists Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz and translated into four languages. She is also editor or co-editor of four books: Japan at Nature's EdgeRethinking Historical DistanceVisualizing Fascism: The Twentieth Century Rise of the Global Right; and Altered Earth: Getting the Anthropocene Right. With colleagues around the world, Thomas seeks to bridge the divide between the humanities and the sciences to address our global environmental crisis. Educated at Princeton, Oxford, and Chicago, she now teaches history at the University of Notre Dame.
GABRIEL VECCHI is the Knox Taylor Professor of Geosciences and at the High Meadows Environmental Institute in Princeton University. Since July 2021, he has been Director of the High Meadows Environmental Institute. Vecchi is also the Deputy Director of the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System (CIMES), a joint institute between Princeton University and NOAA, and from July 2019 to July 2021 was its Director. Vecchi's research focuses on understanding short- and long-term changes to the oceans and atmosphere, including climate changes, the monsoons, El Niño, and the impact of climate on tropical cyclones, weather extremes, and global patterns of rainfall and drought. https://vecchi.princeton.edu/
ELENA XOPLAKI is a Senior Scientist, currently Acting Head of the Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change Research Group at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen in Germany. She is an expert on past, present, and future climate variability and change with a spatial focus on the Greater Mediterranean. She conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and promotes collaboration between natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences at an international level. She works with climate observations, climate models, and climate proxies. Her projects focus on extreme and compound events and their impacts on the food sector, the preparation of early warning systems, and the enhancement of climate resilience in European metropolitan areas. She is a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences.

This public lecture is made possible by the Dr. S. T. Lee Fund for Historical Studies.

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S.T. Lee Workshop: Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Climate and Society - April 10, 2024

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Date & Time

April 10, 2024 | 9:00am – 6:30pm


West Building Lecture Hall