EDGE Summer School

EDGE International Summer School 

Politics of the Earth

4-9 September 2016, Paris

As the world has entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, where humans have become the main forces of transformation of the planet, this Summer School intends to break away from disciplinary divides and bring a fresh look on the key issues brought upon by this ‘age of humans’. Combining natural sciences and social sciences, it seeks to provide students with a framework to think the Earth and the World together.

The Summer School is designed for graduate students and PhD candidates from all disciplines. It is the first of a series of three, supported by the EDGE project: Environmental Diplomacy and Geopolitics.


The Summer School is intended for 40 graduate and doctoral students from all disciplines and countries.  No prerequisite is needed. We will seek to create a group as diverse as possible, in order to maximise the interactions between students.

The EDGE Project

The Summer School is part of the EDGE Project: Environmental Diplomacy and Geopolitics. EDGE is a joint project between Sciences Po, the University of Economics in Bratislava (EUBA) and the University of Liège (ULg). It is supported by the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Summer School is the first of a series of three. The 2017 and 2018 editions shall be organised by EUBA and ULg, respectively.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees are set at 400 EUR. They include all sessions, lunches and coffee breaks, as well as all social events, including the cocktail reception and the farewell dinner. Full scholarships, including a lump sum of EUR 1,000 to cover for travel and accommodation, are available for applicants from low- and middle-income countries. Please indicate in your application if you would require such a scholarship.

All participants shall receive an official certificate upon completion of the programme.

How to apply

Applications shall include the following documents:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A motivation letter
  • An academic transcript

Applications need to be sent by May 20th, 2016 to Stefanie.Schutte@parisdescartes.fr



The programme features a diverse, international faculty to address five key issues of the Anthropocene: disasters, climate change, health, biodiversity and cities. These issues are brought together through cross-cutting lectures and seminars. Each day will feature lectures by renowned faculty, workshops and social activities. All sessions will be conducted in English. Programme subject to changes.

Sunday 4 September

19.00   Welcome reception

Monday 5 September: Facing Disasters

Amphithéâtre de l’Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, 1 rue Jussieu, 75005 Paris.

9.00     Welcome coffee

9.30     Facing disaster as a scientist

Maud Devès (Sciences Po / IPGP)

10.30  Facing disaster as a humanitarian

Michael Neuman (CRASH Foundation, Doctors Without Borders)

11.30   Facing disaster as a citizen

Film screening: “Life after Fukushima” 

by Stéphane Thibierge (Centre de Recherche ‘Médecine Psychanalyse et Société’)

Discussion with Stéphane Thibierge & Reiko Hasegawa (Sciences Po / ULg)

13.00   Lunch

14.00   Workshop: Media coverage of disasters

Claude Grasland (CIST, University Paris Diderot), Maud Devès (Sciences Po/IPGP), Marion Le Texier (University of Luxemburg), Jean-Bernard de Chabbalier (IPGP)

16.00   Coffee break

16.30  Disasters in the literature

Catherine Coquio (University Paris Diderot)

19.30   Guided tour

The Great Flood of 1910 in Paris


Tuesday 6 September: Politics of Climate Change

CEVIPOF – Sciences Po, 98 Rue de l’Université, 75007 Paris.

9.00     Welcome coffee

9.30    Modelling the atmosphere and the sea     

Richard Betts (University of Exeter / MET Office) – tbc

Jean-Pierre Gattuso (CNRS / University Pierre & Marie Curie) – tbc

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (University of Louvain, former Vice-Chair of IPCC) – tbc

11.00   Climate geopolitics: why global warming is a political affair

François Gemenne (Sciences Po / ULg)

13.00   Lunch

14.30  Modelling negotiations and inventing new models

Frédérique Aït-Touati (EHESS)

Henri Landès (Sciences Po – Médialab)

Victoria Brunet (Danone)

A representative of students’ association Climates

16.00   Coffee break

16.30  After COP21 and before COP22: the future of climate negotiations

Peter Wittoeck (lead negotiator for Belgium)

Paul Watkinson (lead negotiator for France

Norbert Kurilla (lead negotiator for Slovakia) – tbc

Matthieu Wemaere (advisor to Moroccan Presidency of COP22)

19.00  Public conference – EU climate and energy policy after COP21

Maroš Šefčovič, EU Commissionner for Energy Union – tbc

in conversation with Laurence Tubiana, former French Ambassador for Climate and Christiana Figuerres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary – tbc.

21.30   Boat cruise on River Seine

 Wednesday 7 September: The links between environment and human health

University Paris Descartes, École de Médecine, 12 Rue de l’École de Médecine, 75006 Paris.

9.00     Healthy lives on a healthy Earth: the interactions between environment and health

Prof. Antoine Flahault (Centre Virchow-Villermé for Public Health)

Dr. Stefanie Schütte (Centre Virchow-Villermé for Public Health)

11.15   The influence of atmospheric pollutants on human health, in particular human reproduction

Prof. Rémy Slama (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research – Inserm) – tbc

13.00   Lunch

14.00   Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions

Prof. Sir Andy Haines (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

16.15  Radiation exposure and the effects on health: the case of Fukushima nuclear power disaster

Prof. Keith Baverstock (University of Eastern Finland)

20.00   Social evening in typical Parisian café


Thursday 8 September: Politics of Biodiversity

Morning: Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Grande Galerie de l’Évolution, 36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 75005 Paris.

Afternoon: Paris City Hall, Auditorium de la Mairie de Paris, 4 rue Lobeau, 75004 Paris.

10.00   Biodiversity, between beauty and tragedy. A visit to the ‘Grande Galerie de l’Évolution’ at the National Museum of Natural History

Floriane Flacher (Université Paris-Diderot)

Aleksandar Rankovic (IDDRI)

12.00   Lunch

13.00  An “un-common” tragedy: The Sixth Mass Extinction, its losers, and its winners

Renaud Lapeyre (IDDRI)

Laurent Mermet (AgroParisTech)

Aleksandar Rankovic (IDDRI)

15.00   Living with our fellow struggling Earthlings: How could we stop biodiversity loss?

Renaud Lapeyre (IDDRI)

Laurent Mermet (AgroParisTech)

Aleksandar Rankovic (IDDRI)

18.00  Public conference – The politics of biodiversity conservation

George Monbiot, author andcolumnist, The Guardian – tbc


Friday 9 September: Urbanization and environmental challenges: diverse perspectives from North and South

Paris City Hall, Auditorium de la Mairie de Paris, 4 rue Lobeau, 75004 Paris.

9.30     Welcome coffee

10.00   The Anthropo-obScene: Interrupting Anthropogenic Urbanisation

Erik Swyngedouw (Manchester University)

11.00   Urban Governance, Sustainability and Environmental Movements

Vincent Béal (SAGE, University of Strasbourg)

12.00   Challenges and Contradictions of Planning Metropolis: The example of the “Grand Paris”

Speaker tbc

13.00   Lunch

14.00   Film screening:Slums. Cities of Tomorrow” by Jean-Nicolas Orhon

Discussion with Jean-Nicolas Orhon (film director), Thomas Aguilera (CEE, Sciences Po) and Laure Criqui (IDDRI)

18.00   Public conference

Bruno Latour, sociologist and philosopher, Winner of the 2013 Holberg Prize.

21.00   Farewell dinner (Café de l’Homme, Musée de l’Homme, 17 Place du Trocadéro, 75016 Paris)


Organising committee

  • Diego Antolinos-Basso, Sciences Po – CEVIPOF
  • Barbara Bender, Sciences Po – Médialab
  • Maud Devès, Sciences Po / IPGP
  • François Gemenne, Sciences Po / ULg
  • Clément Pin, University Paris 13 – CERAL
  • Aleksandar Rankovic, IDDRI
  • Thomas Ribémont, University Paris 13 – CERAL
  • Stefanie Schütte, Centre Virchow-Villermé, University Paris Descartes


Stefanie Schütte at Stefanie.Schutte@parisdescartes.fr 


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