Nikos Katsikis and Víctor Muñoz Sanz participate in workshop Terraforming Terra at University of Stavanger

Held on November 11 and 12, 2022, this workshop facilitated interdisciplinary discussions between natural scientists/practitioners working on terraforming technologies and scholars critically analysing these technologies.

Terraforming has traditionally been understood to refer to planets beyond Earth, and the processes necessary to make them habitable for human life. But as the climate crisis renders life on Earth increasingly precarious – desertifying agricultural lands, drying up water supplies and destroying habitats – what we understand to be a ‘habitable’ planet needs rethinking. Some of the proposed solutions to the crisis can be defined as geoengineering: the practice of altering Earth processes to create a greener, more comfortable, and survivable planet for humanity; in other words, terraforming. But the prospect of transforming terra, potentially irreversibly, raises questions of ethics, responsibility, and power.

What can we learn from each other? How can we ensure these technologies are implemented fairly and safely? And how do we resist these technologies merely maintaining the status quo of environmental destruction and fossil fuel reliance? By holding these conversations, we will foster connections and collaborations across disciplines, and find common ground for our common world.

Organizers: Charlotte Wrigley (University of Stavanger), Adam Searle (Université de Liège), Jonathon Turnbull (University of Cambridge)