In August 1962, the University of Chicago Press published a monograph entitled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, written by an unknown academic named Thomas Kuhn. While most people may never have heard of this book (although it was one of the most influential books of the twentieth century), the ideas that Kuhn expounded probably have influenced their thinking about the way they look at (and try to make sense of) the world.
The frequently cited (and often misused) phrase “paradigm shift” originated in Kuhn’s influential work. His book set off vigorous and contentious debates on how the scientific enterprise works; how science develops, changes and progresses; and what sorts of theories and methods are used (or ought to be used) in the natural and social sciences.
This seminar, “Reflections on The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and its Relevance for the Field of Sustainability Science”, by Prof. Govindan Parayil will shed light on whether the ideas that Kuhn promulgated in The Structure are still useful and relevant in the twenty-first century — for addressing questions related to research on sustainability as we understand this term in such emerging fields as sustainability science. The seminar will look at the whole issue of theories and methods in conducting studies and research in the sciences, with a particular focus on the emerging field of sustainability science.
Govindan Parayil, an Indian national, joined UNU as Vice-Rector in August 2008, and took on the concurrent role of Director of UNU-IAS in January 2009. Prior to joining UNU, he had served as full Professor with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo (Norway), since 2004. He is active in research and advocacy work in science, technology and innovation for sustainable societies.
For more information and to register please see the UNU-IAS event page.