Big Ideas

Seminar Series | Hilary Term 2016

Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment

Register now for our forthcoming Big Ideas Seminars


Thurs 9 February 2017, 5pm | Cities as First Responders of Climate Change

  • Cynthia Rosenzweig | Senior Research scientist, NASA
  • Cynthia Rosenzweig is a Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where she heads the Climate Impacts Group. She is Co-Chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the mayor to advise the city on adaptation for its critical infrastructure. She co-led the Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. She was a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report. She is Co-Director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) and Co-Editor of the First UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3), the first-ever global, interdisciplinary, cross-regional, science-based assessment to address climate risks, adaptation, mitigation, and policy mechanisms relevant to cities. She is the founder of AgMIP, a major international collaborative effort to assess the state of global agricultural modeling, understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector, and enhance adaptation capacity, as it pertains to food security, in developing and developed countries. She was named as one of "Nature's 10: Ten People Who Mattered in 2012" by the science journal Nature. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she joins impact models with climate models to project future outcomes of both land-based and urban systems under altered climate conditions. She is a Professor at Barnard College and a Senior Research Scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.


Weds 22 February 2017, 5pm | Why India needs monsoon scientists

  • Sunita Narain | Director General, Centre for Science and Environment
  • On 22 February 2017, Sunita Narain (Director General, Centre for Science and Environment), will come to the ECI as part of the ECi Big Ideas Seminar to discuss how the evolving science on monsoon needs to be understood both in the context of Climate Change and Air Pollution. The Seminar will be followed by a drinks reception for an opportunity to network, chat and mingle.

    Sunita Narain has been with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) since 1982. She is currently the director general of the Centre and the treasurer of the Society for Environmental Communications and editor of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth.

    She is a writer and environmentalist, who uses knowledge for change. In 2005 she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government. She has also received the World Water Prize for work on rainwater harvesting and for its policy influence in building paradigms for community based water management. In 2005, she also chaired the Tiger Task Force at the direction of the Prime Minister, to evolve an action plan for conservation in the country after the loss of tigers in Sariska. She advocated solutions to build a coexistence agenda with local communities so that benefits of conservation could be shared and the future secured. Narain was a member of the Prime Minister's Council for Climate Change as well as the National Ganga River Basin Authority.


Previous events


Weds 4 May 2016, 5pm | Can we deliver nutrition security and climate change mitigation without wrecking the planet?

  • Professor Pete Smith FSB FRSE | Chair in Plant & Soil Science, University of Aberdeen

Weds 1 June 2016, 5pm | Economic Growth, Structural Transformation and the evolving food security - environment challenge

  • Professor Prabhu Pingali | Director, Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi), Cornell University

Weds 19 October 2016, 5pm | Are universities & research councils doing nearly enough to tackle climate change?

  • Craig Bennett | CEO, Friends of the Earth

Weds 2 November 2016, 5pm | Policy for Environmental Change: Info-Gap Response to Uncertainty

  • Yakov Ben-Haim | Israel Institute of technology

Tues 31 January 2017, 5pm | Prosperity without Growth - Foundations for the economy of tomorrow

  • Tim Jackson | Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey

Watch our Big Ideas playlist

.