Key workshop for Environmental Thrust at UCT

28 May 2002
UCT's Environment Thrust will hold a workshop for all members of the research and academic staff working in the field on Tuesday March 5, 2002 (Sax Appeal Day), at a venue to be announced.

The Environment Thrust was launched by the University Strategy Committee in mid-2001 and has been making steady progress under the guidance of a Task Team, drawn from all faculties, with the support of Dean's Advisory Committees. Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wieland Gevers, is the Environment Thrust "champion". "The Thrust is committed to promoting UCT's collective capacity in environment-related research, teaching and outreach, to capitalise on our world-class scholarship in these areas," he said.

The scope of the Thrust has been interpreted broadly by the Task Team to encompass work that bears in some way on the relationship between human activities and the natural or biophysical environment, explicitly including both the techno-economic and socio-political dimensions of such activities.

"Recognising that very different perspectives may exist on concepts such as 'sustainability', or 'sustainable development', the initiative will accommodate work framed in more critical as well as more technical or managerial terms," Gevers added. "The intention is to be as inclusive as possible without defining the terms of reference so widely as to be operationally meaningless."

Gevers said that the Thrust would seek to stimulate the potential for cross-disciplinary research, providing new opportunities for established and emerging researchers, without attempting in any way to restrict or control existing research programmes that may fall within its scope. "Where appropriate, cross-disciplinary teaching and outreach activities will be pursued as a concomitant of research work."

The workshop will expose participants to the Task Team's interpretation of the challenges and opportunities facing the Thrust and hopes to secure broad support for taking it forward. A second workshop will be held later this year. For more information email

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