2012 Keith Roby Memorial Lecture looks at sustainable future

August 23, 2012

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This year’s Keith Roby Memorial Lecture on Thursday, August 30 will offer insight into the true meaning of sustainability.

Presented by Canada’s Dr David J Rapport, ‘Ecocultural Health: Transcending the Natural, Social, and Health Sciences for a sustainable future’ will argue our current way of thinking about sustainability is flawed and what is needed is a reintegration of culture and environment.

“Our current method of dealing with the planet’s worsening health is a vicious circle, in which the solutions thrown at the problems consist in doing more of what created the problems in the first place,” Dr Rapport said.

“We need to acknowledge that the breakdown of eco-cultural health impacts human health and well-being. Every facet of our lives – from our food production systems, to the health of forests and woodlands, to the green spaces in our cities – is interrelated.

“While the catastrophic loss in vitality of the world’s ecosystems is well known, of equal importance is the loss of diversity in the forms of culture, language and repositories of knowledge and know-how.”

“Sustaining life in nature and culture must become our foremost value, and one that we uphold with joy and passion, not as a sacrifice.”

Dr Rapport is principal of Eco Health Consulting, a Visiting Professor at Shenyang University, an Adjunct Professor at Royal Roads University in Canada and Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Shenyang, China).

He pioneered the concept of ‘ecosystem health’ and has co-authored nine books and over 150 peer-reviewed articles.

The Keith Roby Memorial Lecture in Community Science was established in memory of Murdoch University foundation member Keith Roby, who believed science could make a major contribution towards resolving major contemporary issues such as the dilemmas surrounding the environment, energy, resources and genetic engineering.

This year’s Lecture runs from 6 – 7.30pm at the Kim E Beazley Lecture Theatre on Murdoch University’s South Street campus. RSVP is essential by Friday, August 24.

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