Skip to Content

Event Listings

How to be an Academic in a World on Fire: Talk & Hands-On Workshop

December 13, 2023
27 University Square, Room 01/003 Queen's University Belfast
12:00 - 14:30

A talk and hands-on workshop with Dr Clare Kelly from Trinity College Dublin

Addressing the climate crisis requires radical and urgent action at all levels of society. Universities are ideally positioned to lead such action but are largely failing to do so. At the same time, many academic scientists find their work impeded by corporatization and bureaucracy, a loss of academic freedom, overwork, casualisation, and poor mental health. In this talk, I will describe a recent paper that draws on Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics framework to rethink academia, which increasingly transgresses human and planetary limits while failing to provide a socially just foundation for its communities. In response, we suggest seven new principles for reimagining the norms of academic practice (Urai & Kelly, 2023). Based on these principles, we propose a call to action, and encourage academics to take concrete steps towards a thriving scientific enterprise that both works better for people and responds to the climate crisis.

Do you want to learn more? Following the talk, a hands-on workshop (see will support participants to take concrete steps toward action. Participants will analyse current academic norms through a doughnut lens to identify and rethink unhelpful practices and to identify actions that will institute new ones. Activities will equip participants with new knowledge, motivation, and allegiances that will support them to take action - in their local context and as part of the global community.