About EC RPA: Sustainability in Society

The Environmental Citizenship Research Priority Area (EC RPA) was created early in 2011 as part of a university-wide strategic research initiative.  It has been supported in UCC through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. One of the key objectives of this initiative is to encourage dialogue across disciplinary boundaries - including the natural and social sciences – and to work toward building a platform of collaborative research around issues of sustainability and related ‘science and society’ concerns.

After its establishment the EC RPA held a very successful one day Workshop on 22nd September 2011, which brought together 25 researchers from three colleges. It also has hosted a visit from senior researchers at the University of Verona; and has fostered or contributed to an evening open Seminar Series on Sustainability and Modern Society, during October and November 2012, the Colloquium series on Planning for Sustainable Development, and the university-wide module (UW1005) on Global Climate Change.

The EC RPA held a hugely successful two day conference at UCC on 'Trans-disciplinary conversations on transitions to sustainability', on 5-6th September 2013. This attracted over two dozen academics from right across the university, complimented by a number of eminent invited international keynote speakers, culminating in a highly stimulating and productive trans-disciplinary discourse around the conference themes.

While providing a forum for sharing ideas and developing collaborative work around sustainability research, the EC RPA is more specifically concerned with positioning UCC within European and wider international research networks. The intention is to enhance our capacity to participate in future European (and national) research programmes as an effective partner with demonstrable trans-disciplinary expertise. Initial signs ahead of the launch of Horizon 2020 are that the European research environment will expect greater attention to the societal dimensions of environmental, scientific and technological change.

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