University of Leicester work highlighted at prestigious international event

Posted by fi17 at Feb 22, 2012 11:45 AM |
Leicester academics present their work at meeting attended by scientists and journalists from around the world

Two University of Leicester academics spoke at one of the most prestigious international science events in the world over the weekend.

Professor Derek Raine and Dr Jago Cooper gave presentations to leading thinkers from across the scientific community at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Scientists, teachers and journalists from more than 50 countries attended the 178th AAAS annual meeting, which ran from February 16 to 20.

Professor Raine, a senior lecturer in the University's Department of Physics and Astronomy, drew from his experience as head of the University's Centre for Interdisciplinary Science in the panel discussion on Integrated Sciences with his contribution on Teaching Key Points of Integration: The University of Leicester Approach.

Dr Cooper, an honorary academic at the University and former lecturer in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, is now based at University College London but still teaches on Professor Raine's Interdisciplinary Science module. 

Dr Cooper explained how integrated interdisciplinary research is necessary to build sustainable societies in the face of impending climate change in his talk Understanding the Punctuated Equilibrium of Human-Climate-Environment.

In his presentation, he said: “The time depth of human experience provides a unique opportunity to study the dynamic relationship between climate variability, environmental change and societal development. 

“This paper will provide results from two multidisciplinary research projects in the Pacific and Caribbean that have aimed to show how the long term study of human-climate-environment relationships can reveal important lessons for developing modern day mitigation strategies in the face of global change.

“Key climatic and environmental hazards have been identified through regional studies in these two regions and their relative impact upon past human communities has been assessed. Then two focused research projects in Easter Island and Cuba have attempted to understand the ways in which different life ways in the past, including settlement locations, household architecture, and food security provide very different levels to these key threats in past societies.”

AAAS is an international science organisation which works to advance science throughout the world. It publishes the journal Science, and operates the online science news service EurekAlert!

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Report by Mark Cardwell

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