World Social Science Report 2013

Changing Global Environments

image of World Social Science Report 2013

Produced by the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and UNESCO, and published by the OECD, the 2013 World Social Science Report represents a comprehensive overview of the field gathering the thoughts and expertise of hundreds of social scientists from around the world.

This edition focuses on the transformative role of the social sciences in confronting climate and broader processes of environmental change, and in addressing priority problems from energy and water, biodiversity and land use, to urbanisation, migration and education.

The report includes 100 articles written by 150 authors from 41 countries all over the world. Authors represent some 24 disciplines, mainly in the social sciences.

The contributions highlight the central importance of social science knowledge for environmental change research, as a means of understanding changing environments in terms of social processes and as framework for finding concrete solutions towards sustainability.



Making sense of techno-optimism? The social science of nanotechnology and sustainability

Using nanotechnology, scientists can change the atomic configuration of matter. New materials have seemingly magical applications, with promise that ranges from harnessing energy from the sun to eternally recycling materials by breaking them down into their atomic building blocks and reassembling them. It is vital, as UNESCO has urged, that social scientists engage fully in debates on nanoethics, and contribute to policy and decision-making processes concerning the use of nanotechnology in achieving sustainability.


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