What does "scaling-up" mean in your discipline?

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Event brought to you by the Climate Crisis Thinking in the Humanities and Social Sciences Network

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Lunch and coffee will be provided

“Scale is the set of dimensions that consider the extent and magnitude of the entities which we study. It provides additional explanatory value to our analyses. (1) Temporal scales allow us to understand social and cultural phenomena in historical and archaeological contexts; (2) social scales provide insights into linkages among political and economic structures at the nation-states and global levels, and with communities at the local and regional levels; and (3) spatial scales allow us to understand commonalities and differences across geographically and culturally separate entities.” 

--Final Report of the American Anthropological Association Global Climate Change Task Force. May 15, 2014, Pg. 14. 


“Scaling-up” is now considered central to responses to the climate crisis, particularly in policy and technological responses but also increasingly within different academic disciplines. There is a pressing need for considered and critical responses, for new narratives and ideas, for agendas that can help bring about the needed societal transformations. To have transformative power, thinking from the Humanities and Social Sciences cannot only speak to the predisposed, to academics and environmental activists, but it needs to be capable of engaging society far more widely, whether through the media and entertainment, education, or political conversations. “Scaling-up” might be one way to think of this expansion of our activities. In this roundtable discussion we consider the question of scales and scalability from a range of disciplinary positions. We ask what “scaling-up” means for your discipline/s, and how might it be undertaken – or not, as the case maybe. Participants may consider the implications for research, co-authored publications, teaching, policy and public engagement activities. The focus remains on developing strategies for collaborative climate crisis thinking that foregrounds humanities and social sciences approaches. 



Suggested pre-reading: Anna Tsing, 2012. On Nonscalability: The Living World Is Not Amenable to Precision-Nested Scales, Common Knowledge 18 (3): 505-524

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