Programme / UnEarthing - The responsibility of science in creating a coherent vision for a sustainable world

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Day 3

Friday / 22 NOV

20:00 - 20:45

Special session:
UnEarthing - The responsibility of science in creating a coherent vision for a sustainable world
Organised by:  World Science Forum
Venue: Museum of Fine Arts

Resource depletion, climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse – a rapidly accumulating list of crises may evoke fear of a pending apocalypse. But the original meaning of this ancient greek word is ‘when things reveal themselves’. We are living in an interesting time where a revelation has occurred and we must change course...


Given the combination of dazzling possibilities and existential threats, it is becoming clear that our generation, along with the next, is engaged in redefining what it means to be human. Humanity’s dominance on Earth means that we must take responsibility for managing the planet, at least for the foreseeable future. The responsibility of science has never been greater!


Like these two perceptions of the present moment, there are two schools of thought in the scientific world. One focuses  on staying within the Earth's boundaries to overcome the planetary crisis and avoid system collapse. The other emphasizes technology, the fruit of human ingenuity, to save us. In this performative session the audience will be taken on a journey through human history to discover what values and resulting worldviews have brought us to the present. Due to the interactive character of the performance, the participants will have a unique opportunity to affect the course of the unfolding events and will be challenged to develop a viable and responsible path forward .



About the IIASA Science and Art Initiative

Since 2015, the Science and Art Initiative at IIASA investigates how artists and scientists can work together to support transformations to sustainability. The resulting research projects culminate in artistic productions and tackle ethical dilemmas triggered by new scientific insights or technological innovations, and aim to drive sustainable transformation of the way people think and act through active learning and experience. Further information: