The speaker asserts that: “If ever there were a time for universities to assume a leadership role in providing the knowledge needed for socio-ecological change, this is surely that moment.” But what drives research and innovation in Alberta’s largest universities, and in what directions? What kinds of knowledge are our universities producing to help Albertans make a transition to a post-carbon economy that can provide income security and a good life for all?

These are the questions that motivated the research that led to the June 2020 report, Knowledge for an Ecologically Sustainable Future? Innovation Policy and Alberta Universities, published by the Parkland Institute and the Corporate Mapping Project. Over five years, painstaking data collection from multiple sources allowed Adkin and her research assistants to reconstruct a picture of the funding flows to the Universities of Alberta and Calgary over a period of twenty years. Focusing on funding to the domains of energy and environmental research, located in multiple faculties, centers, and institutes, they categorized research projects in relation to their contributions to ecologically sustainable development. The talk will present some of the findings from this extensive research, leaving time for discussion about what this all means for Albertans’ future.

Speaker: Dr. Laurie Adkin

Laurie Adkin is a political economist and professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Her main areas of research and teaching are political ecology, the populist radical right in Europe, and Alberta politics. Since 2002, she has studied the formation of climate change policy in Alberta and Canada.

She is the author of Politics of Sustainable Development: Citizens, Unions, and the Corporations (1998), and editor and co-author of Environmental Conflict and Democracy in Canada (2009), and First World Petro-Politics: The Political Ecology and Governance of Alberta (2016). Her recent work has focused on the political ecology of knowledge production in Alberta’s universities and on innovation policy and discourse as responses to the global climate.

Date and time: Thursday January 21, 2021 – 10 AM (MST)

YouTube Live link:

Session Video

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