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European summer school

This four-day course examines a topic in depth with a panel of participants representing society’s key players and principal actors in the field. The European Summer school uses teaching methods developed for the one-year course.
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European summer school 2015

Societies and climate change : challenges for education, action and governance

June 30th to July 3rd 2015

The issue of climate change has evolved in recent years, from a subject of basic research handled by diverse scientific communities, to a hybrid and diffuse subject with multi-faceted stakes. The question now is how we grasp the issue, define its terms and decide how these challenges can be met with action. Climate change, which has led to the emergence of a new discipline, climatology, mobilizes a broad spectrum of disciplines ranging from biophysics to human and social sciences. It shakes the foundations of our economic and social models, and therefore society, and commands the attention of politicians.

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Developing Innovative Dialogue on Climate Change

HambourgIn fact, the novelty of the issue lies not only in the emergence of a new field of scientific exploration but also in the growing awareness of the Earth’s limits and the exacerbating impact of all forms of human activity.
The complexity of this shift raises a host of questions. How do we perceive the concept of climate change ? What is the timeframe under consideration ? How can we represent it in concrete terms, discuss it and teach about it ? The question of knowledge then leads to that of action. The reactions to climate change, the intersection of temporal and spatial scales, managing uncertainty and potential risk, the places and processes for making decisions and commitments, the interactions between science, society and policy constitute a multitude of situations which go well beyond the question of climate. The three and a half day seminar will examine this dual challenge of knowledge and action, in the lead-up to the scientific international conférence Our common future under climate change and to the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 21).
By comparing approaches and points of view, the speakers and participants at the European Summer School will be asked to shed light on the processes underway, to identify the normatives at work, be they scientific, political, economic or social, to discern the nature of the controversies specific to this major issue, and the nature of the choices confronting politicians, caught between short-term interests and long-term stakes. What does the climate change issue tell us about the dialogue between science and society ? These will be the guiding themes of the seminar.

June 30th to July 3rd 2015
Château de Montvillargenne
6, avenue François Mathet
60270 Gouvieux-Chantilly

Working languages : French and English

Simultaneous interpreting will take place throughout the European Summer School


Tuesday, June 30th 2015, afternoon Climate and temporalities

Manchot du Biodôme de MontrealHow has climate change become the subject of inquiry into both its causes and origins ? This will be the first question of the seminar, which will open with analyses of varying temporalities, between the past, present and future. Are we currently experiencing a discontinuity tied to the possible irreversibility of the process of climate change ? What are the challenges in terms of knowledge ? A long, historical process, climate change has suddenly become an urgent matter, given the acute potential consequences. What historical, climatological, socio-economic and philosophical analyses can provide some response ? What can be said about climate prior to the birth of climate science ? What climate stories tell us ? Which time and space scales to characterize climate change ?

Temporality and climate change
Climate change stories
Climate change : a scientific object, social and economic complex

Wednesday, July 1st 2015 Climate change : how to grasp and speak about the issue

Vaches, BrésilBefore thinking about acting against climate change, how do we speak about it, give substance to its effects, and comprehend the gap between perceptions of meteorological phenomena and hypotheses put forward by climate sciences, in all their complexity and uncertainty ? This is a real challenge in pedagogical terms. More specifically, what processes are needed to ascertain, evaluate and debate the stakes of climate change ? The second day of the seminar will focus on identifying and exploring these processes, in differing contexts such as the media, education, cultural initiatives and new climate services in France and elsewhere around the world.
Furthermore, what do controversies around climate change teach us ? What are the objects of the attacks ? Is the debate actually limited to questioning standard scientific study ? Can we effectively combat climate change without improving education ? Do political choices hinge on a better scientific understanding of the subject ? What is the impact of mediatization ? More broadly, how can people be encouraged to fight against climate change ?

Representations of climate change and their target audience

• How is climate change treated in the media ? What role does controversy play ?
• Empathy towards climate change.

Where and when to speak about climate change. How to educate.

• How to make climate change tangible
• The educational system faced with a recent and complex subject
• Cultural representations in different countries
• Climate change : a cultural issue

Thursday, July 2nd 2015 Reacting to climate change.

Panneaux solairesManagement of knowledge and the production of data, the interface between expertise and policy, economics and technology : these are areas where we find innovations in the fight against climate change and which will be analyzed during the third day. Are these innovations necessarily synonymous with progress ? What are the underlying utopias ?
The inter-government panel on climate change (IPCC) is presented as an innovative model of organization, coordination and co-decision between scientists and policy-makers. How does expertise function within this organization ? Who can legitimately report on climate and produce data ? Is the organization no more than a venue for confrontation between science and policy ? How are decisions crafted ?
In the face of climate threats, other innovations have come to the fore, in terms of technological innovation and the economy. Why has the business world become a source of so many normative instruments ? What is the importance of technological innovation ? How do shifts towards new technical, economic and social models occur ? What utopias does climate change carry with it ?

The IPCC, a case study between science and policy
Where does the data come from ? For what usage ?
The economics of climate : from the “commons” to the carbon market Worshops
Le risque et le climat

• Workshops Energy and climate : the challenges of a transition
• Workshops Climate risks : innovation at stake.
• Workshops Agriculture and feeding the world : what utopias ?

Friday, July 3rd 2015 Climate change : the challenge of global governance

Changhai à l'aubeThe fight against climate change is an affair of States and of citizens. It requires trade-offs and decisions which involve policy, expertise, law, economics, diplomacy, and, above all, public participation. Climate change raises the fundamental question of the legitimacy of global governance, its democratic basis and concerns of justice in the face of climatic inequality. What is the responsibility of countries in the climate situation ? Who must make an effort, and to what extent ? How can we manage interdependence between the local, regional and international levels, where the decision of one may interfere with the situation of another ? What are the stakes of governance ? What are the main challenges and points of international dispute ? Whether aiming for adaptation or mitigation, are the tools, policies and players the same ? What forum for negotiation could be created to meet the challenge ? What new players have appeared at the negotiating table ?

Global democracy, State sovereignty
Sharing the burden, new legal and regulatory instances : from local to global
Diplomacy, new legal spaces and regulation
New players : learning a new form of negotiation at the international level ?

Conclusion of the european summer school


Scientific Committee of the European Summer School

Chaired by Marie-Françoise CHEVALLIER-LE GUYADER

Annie COT, Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne
Raymond COINTE, Institut national de l’environnement industriel et des risques ; Mathieu DENIS, International social science council,
Denis DESPREAUX, Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l’environnement et l’agriculture ;
Jean-Baptiste FRESSOZ, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales ;
Patrick GAUDRAY, Comité consultatif national d’éthique ;
Mathias GIREL, Ecole normale supérieure ;
Antoine GRASSIN, Campus France ;
Rosa ISSOLAH, Institut national agronomique d’Alger ;
Claudine HERMANN, Association “Femmes et sciences” ;
Sandra LAUGIER, Centre national de la recherche scientifique ;
Olivier LECLERC, Centre national de la recherche scientifique ;
Pascal LE MASSON, Mines Paris Tech ;
Sandrine MALJEAN-DUBOIS, Centre d’études et de recherches internationales et communautaires, Centre national de la recherche scientifique ;
Muriel MAMBRINI-DOUDET, Institut national de la recherche agronomique ;
Anne-Marie MOULIN, Centre national de la recherche scientifique ;
Hervé LE TREUT, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) ;
Laurent TURPIN, Agence France Nucléaire Internationale ;
Heinz WISMANN, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales.


The cost of participating in the European summer school is €900* net, which covers registration, accommodation and meals. A registration form can be downloaded from the IHEST website and is to be submitted with a curriculum vitae and a recent picture of the applicant.
These should be sent to the following address :

* Participants must organise and pay for their own travel to the site of the summer school

Institut des Hautes Études pour la Science et la Technologie
Ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche
1 rue Descartes, 75231 Paris cedex 05.


May 15th 2015


tél. : 01 55 55 87 66

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Registration form

Publié le mercredi 1er avril 2015,
mis à jour le vendredi 15 mai 2015