SR Talks

SR Talks

We are in a climate and ecological emergency. The actions we take – or not take – now will determine the conditions for life not only for us and our children, but for all life on Earth for millennia to come. How do we make sense of this historic moment and our role in it? How do we build alliances, connect with others, and take coordinated action to prevent climate breakdown?

Building on our successful talk series “The Role of Scientists on a Planet in Crisis”, we are organizing semi-regular SR Talks in the coming months on a broad array of topics and from a diversity of speakers. The goal is to bring you scientists and academics who are engaging in activism or advocacy; to understand perspectives that are often ignored; and to connect you with others willing to take action.


Monday, 16 May 2022, 19:30 CEST (GMT+2)Debt for Cimate: A Global Debt for Climate Initiative
Monday, 11 July 2022, 19:30 CEST (GMT+2)Saleemul Huq: My Journey from Scientist to Advocate
Wednesday, 27 July 2022, 19:30 CEST (GMT+2)Amy Woodson-Boulton: Modern Global Environmental History & Historian Rebellion
Wednesday, 10 August 2022, 19:00 CEST (GMT+2)Adam Aron: How I quit neuroscience to focus on preventing climate and ecological breakdown
Thursday, 8 December 2022, 16:00 CET (GMT+1)Kevin Young: Levers of Power — Social Movements and System Change
Tuesday, 26 February 2023, 16:00 CET (GMT+1)Holly Jean Buck: Ending Fossil Fuels — Why Net Zero is not Enough

Speakers & Abstracts

A Global Debt for Climate Initiative | Debt for Climate

Monday, 16 May 2022, 19:30 CEST (GMT+2), Recording

Abstract: Debt for Climate ( is a grassroots, Global South-driven initiative connecting social & climate justice struggles by uniting labor, social and climate movements from the Global South & North toward a common goal of turning debt-trap diplomacy on its head by canceling the debt of impoverished nations as a way to pay for leaving fossil fuels in the ground and financing a just transition. The implementation of a global Debt for Climate initiative has the potential to leave trillions of dollars in fossil fuel reserves in the ground, while freeing countries from a strangling debt burden often used as a tool for further extraction of natural resources. We are organizing a global action to push these demands during the G7 meeting on June 26-28. Join this talk to learn more!

Esteban Servat is a biotechnologist, environmental activist and founder of Ecoleaks. Born in Argentina, he had to leave the country after denouncing fracking and mega-mining in Mendoza. He participates with the global movements Shale Must Fall and Debt for Climate.

Sunny Morgan, aka Sunny the Solar Guy, is a climate justice activist from South Africa and works with various organisations such as Extinction Rebellion South Africa, the Climate Justice Charter Movement and African Climate Reality Project. He is also the founder of a solar renewable energy business.

Juan Pablo Osson is a specialist in economic-social, environmental, global warming and geopolitical issues, lectures on The Challenges of Argentina and Latin America in the face of Global Warming and the World Water Crisis for Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). He is a coordinator in Latin America of the Progressive International movement.

Louise Wagner studied environmental Sociology at the University of Jena and joined the environmental justice movement in 2017. She organized with Ende Gelände on a national level and sees power in organising across movements and borders to build connections on respect and solidarity.

My Journey from Scientist to Advocate | Prof. Saleemul Huq

Monday, 11 July 2022, 19:30 CEST (GMT+2), Recording

Abstract: In this talk, I will describe my career as a scientist and how I decided to advise the vulnerable developing countries and communities on how to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and then become involved in global advocacy to tackle climate change.

Speaker: Prof. Saleemul Huq is the Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) at the Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has been a lead author on the subject of adaptation to climate change in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has also attended all the Conferences of Parties (COPs) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an adviser to the group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

From Teaching Modern Global Environmental History to Starting Historian Rebellion | Prof. Amy Woodson-Boulton

Wednesday, 27 July 2022, 19:30 CEST (GMT+2), Recording

Abstract: Like scientists, historians tend to research very specific times and places. My own work is on the history of museums, anthropology, and art in industrial Britain. These projects have come out of my interest in changing ideas about “nature” and “art,” and how industrialization and imperialism transformed British (and colonial!) culture and society. At the same time, like many academics, my courses can be much broader. A few years ago, I started teaching modern global environmental history. While I have been an activist in different ways since I was an undergraduate 30 years ago, and had been teaching world history for years, teaching this global environmental history class has given me a new sense of purpose to my teaching. That experience, combined with the complete lack of action on climate change, and seeing groundbreaking actions by XR and SR, inspired myself and others to form Historian Rebellion a few months ago. In this short talk, I’ll discuss the kinds of perspectives that global environmental history can offer, why I started Historian Rebellion, and how an interdisciplinary approach is helpful for our research and our activism.

Speaker: Amy Woodson-Boulton is professor and past chair of the Department of History at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. A historian of Britain and Ireland, she works on cultural reactions to industrialization, including the history of museums and ideas about nature and “primitive art.” She teaches modern British, European, and global courses that focus on imperial, cultural, public, and environmental history.

For relevant articles, see Woodson-Boulton (2020) and Drummond & Woodson-Boulton (2021).

How I quit neuroscience to focus on preventing climate and ecological breakdown | Prof. Adam Aron

Wednesday, 10 August 2022, 19:00 CEST (GMT+2), Recording

Abstract: I was long concerned about global heating but was too busy with my neuroscience career and parenting to do anything about it, until about 5 years ago when I got involved with the fossil fuel divestment movement in the University of California. As I learned more, I became more and more alarmed to the point of shifting my teaching to be about the climate crisis, shifting my research program to focus on changing beliefs and promoting collective action, and escalating my activism within the university to push for fossil free energy and fossil free finance. In this short talk I will discuss the three components of teaching, research and activism, and discuss the bumps and wins along the way.

Speaker: Adam Aron is a professor in the Dept of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. For 20 years his career was in cognitive neuroscience, where he published over one hundred papers with his lab members and earlier mentors. He has now formed a Climate Psychology and Action Lab.

For relevant articles, see Aron (2021) and Castiglione, Brick, Holden, Miles-Urdan, & Aron (2022).

Levers of Power: Social Movements and System Change | Prof. Kevin Young

Thursday, 8 December 2022, 15:00 CET, Recording

Speaker: Kevin Young has co-authored the book Levers of Power: How the 1% Rules and What the 99% Can Do About It, which analyzes the roots of capitalist political power and how progressive social movements have sometimes successfully changed policy in the United States. He is currently working on a book on how social movements can help end the fossil fuel industry.

Ending Fossil Fuels — Why Net Zero is not Enough | Dr. Holly Jean Buck

Tuesday, 26 February 2023, 16:00 CET, Registration

Abstract: Dr. Holly Jean Buck will talk about the notion of ‘net zero’ and how social movements can build winning coalitions to address the climate crisis. The discussion will focus on some of the key ideas in her book Ending Fossil Fuels: Why Net Zero Is Not Enough.

Speaker: Holly Jean Buck is an Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. Her book After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair and Restoration explores best and worst-case scenarios for climate intervention. In her latest book Ending Fossil Fuels: Why Net Zero is Not Enough, she argues that the fossil fuel industry must come to an end but will not depart willingly; governments must intervene. By embracing a politics of rural-urban coalitions and platform governance, climate advocates can build the political power needed to nationalize the fossil fuel industry and use its resources to draw carbon out of the atmosphere.