The planet’s wellbeing and human health in focus in this year’s Celsius-Linnaeus Lectures


What is our planet’s breaking point? How can we develop electronic systems that are compatible with human biology? At this year’s Celsius-Linnaeus Lectures on 9 February, Professor Johan Rockström and Professor John Rogers will be presenting research findings that may have a very real impact on the future of the Earth and humanity.

Here, hosts from Uppsala University offer a foretaste of what we can expect from the lectures:

“Today, six of nine planetary boundaries have been exceeded”

Professor Johan Rockström.

The 2023 Celsius lecturer is Johan Rockström, professor in water systems and global sustainability at Stockholm University and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Professor Rockström’s host is Giuliano Di Baldassarre, professor of surface water hydrology and environmental analysis at the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.

What will Johan Rockström be talking about?
“He will be talking about various planetary boundaries and how we are quickly approaching biophysical tipping points that, should they be exceeded, will have irreversible, self-reinforcing effects on earth systems. This is not simply a matter of climate change but also loss of biodiversity, new substances that cause chemical pollution, shortages of fresh water and many other challenges facing humanity. He will also be addressing how we can engage in society. What can we do to bring the scientific progress to the attention of politicians?”

Professor Giuliano Di Baldassarre.

Johan Rockström has been talking about threats to the planet’s ecosystem for a long time, and about how various processes can have devastating consequences if they reach climate system thresholds, or tipping points. Is there any hope of reversing developments and, if so, how?
“In addition to providing an understanding of the planet’s boundaries, Johan Rockström  will be addressing how one can act in a democratic arena. When it comes to global issues, every country has its own system and therefore different ways of navigating political processes. Given Johan Rockström’s long experience, I believe he can offer us an important perspective on this field. Personally, I think we should not feel hopeless but strive for changes towards safety and justice.

"In the subsequent panel discussion, we will talk about what we scientists can achieve together with decision-makers and politicians, as well as with the public. In the end, I believe that the most important thing is public awareness and consensus; without that, it will be very difficult to stimulate the interest of politicians.”

Do you have any specific questions that you want to ask Johan Rockström?
“I will to ask him whether he has any advice for the new generation of researchers: our master’s and doctoral students who will attend the lectures at the Eva von Bahr Hall. At the beginning of an academic career, most of us believe that producing good scientific results will be beneficial for society. Yet, it is not really how it works; there are many steps along the way. As the moderator of the panel discussion, I aim to have a debate about these processes at the interface between science and policy.”

Read the full article here.

Read more about the Celsius-Linnaeus Lectures 9 February 2023. 

News from the Department of Earth Sciences

Last modified: 2022-09-30