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Message posted on 04/02/2020

Call for abstracts: "Contradictions of Climate Action: individual and collective dilemmas" EASST/4S CONFERENCE Prague 2020


August 18-21

Aleksandra Lis, PhD

Łukasz Afeltowicz, PhD

We invite you to submit abstracts to the closed panel titled:

Contradictions of Climate Action: individual and collective dilemmas

“Climate crisis” won the first place among the most important phrases of
the year 2019. Anthropocene is no longer a concept “on offer”, but it is
actively shaping public imagination and debates about the human – non-human
relations. The awareness of the approaching disaster – or many of them –
has never before been so widespread in Western societies, and action to
mitigate human impacts on the environment is no longer seen as a
responsibility of governments and companies alone, but of every individual,
as a consumer and citizen. Moreover, while at the turn of the last century,
climate science has mainly focused on the impacts of greenhouse gases
(GHGs), today the portfolio of dangerous factors has grown. Science made
plastics visible not only at the bottom of the oceans but also in the
bodies of fish and other animals, and the complexity and wickedness of the
anthropogenic climate change is commonly accepted, rather an issue to be
argued about.

Yet, we don’t exactly know what to do about it. Awareness does not
translate into action. And this is a challenge for social sciences.
Citizens / consumers get confused when choosing the proper actions and when
thinking of proper. Which externalities that both individual and
organizational entities inevitably produce should be taken into
consideration when planning climate action. Is a city, a household or a
global market the right scale to act? Shall we drive electric vehicles or
develop public transportation? Shall we switch from plastic bags to cotton
bags due to low carbon emissions? Should we focus on waste 3Rs, or maybe it
is responsibility of regulators and industries. Shall we become vegan or
reduce meat consumption only a bit? What is the scale for organizing
zero-waste consumption – a household, a city, a sector of production or a
country? These questions, among many others, pop up in our heads as we act
as consumers, citizens, decision-makers, experts or CEOs.

During this panel, we would like to open a discussion about dealing with
climate action contradictions in various configurations of actors – as
individuals, collectives, companies, industries. We would like to see how
action is constructed at these levels – what is the practice, how choices
are made and how contradictions and uncertainties are dealt with? We make a
distinction between individual action, collectively coordinated action and
action that has been enhanced by artificial intelligence – machine
learning, in particular. At the same time, using STS perspectives, we want
to unpack individuals, collectives and AI-enhanced organization means in
practice – what kinds of socio-technical assemblages stand behind
individual, collection and AI-enhances action? What kinds of
socio-technical, as well as political projects they are.

In order to address these issues, we invite papers which address the
following topics, though the list is not comprehensive:

- green paradoxes (i.a. rebound effect, carbon leakage, carbon

- interactions between climate action and pro-environmental
initiatives and smart city, smart grids, AI application in energy and
climate action

- consumer choices between alternative pro-environmental styles of

- processes of internalization and externalization

- scalar politics

- institutional incentives for and against climate action

- interactions between state power and environmental activism.

Submission deadline is 29 Feb 2020. Please send the abstracts of around 250
words to Aleksandra Lis and Łukasz Afeltowicz . You will be notified about the acceptance of
abstracts on April 15, 2020.

More info about closed panel in general

Aleksandra Lis, PhD
Associate Professor
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland
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