Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


UCL Anthropocene Website Launch

12 August 2020

The SHS Faculty have recently launched the UCL Anthropocene website. UCL Anthropocene is one of the strategic priorities in the SHS Faculty 10 Year Strategic Vision.


The UCL Anthropocene approach

UCL Anthropocene grows out of work within UCL’s Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences. The Faculty is uniquely well-placed to draw expertise in Physical Geography, Archaeology and the Environmental Sciences into new forms of dialogue with research in the social and historical sciences, including History, Anthropology, Political Science, Economics, and Sociology.

In addition, UCL Anthropocene seeks to engage colleagues across UCL including Laws, Fine Art, English, European Languages and Culture, Philosophy, Education, Engineering, Science and Technology Studies, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Population Health, and Medical Sciences.

UCL Anthropocene understand the Anthropocene as the historical complex of human interactions with other species and environments that are generating planetary transformations at multiple levels, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere, oceans, and living organisms. The idea of the Anthropocene directs us to consider how social, political, economic and destructive environmental changes are fundamentally entangled. The Anthropocene is the name for a proposed geological epoch, but it also marks a series of emergencies and unpredictable events.

What we’re doing

UCL Anthropocene works as a virtual school by assembling projects, people, courses, and events. UCL Anthropocene will:

  1. Contribute to UCL’s Sustainability Strategy by developing education about the Anthropocene, climate change, and sustainability from the perspectives of the social, geographical and historical sciences.
  2. Provide a focus for collaborative research and education on the Anthropocene across the UCL Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences and beyond.
  3. Develop new interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the history, present state, and future of humanity’s impact on the planet, drawing particularly on UCL’s expertise in the social, geographical and historical sciences and building collaborations with colleagues in STEM as well as ‘SHAPE’ disciplines.
  4. Lead the development of interdisciplinary teaching on climate change and anthropogenic phenomena across UCL, rooted in the perspectives and contributions of the social, geographical and historical sciences and UCL’s connected curriculum.
  5. Intervene in public debate and engage with citizens about climate change, sustainability and the environment through public events, exhibitions, research papers and social and broadcast media.