On May 2-6, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences hosted a conference titled Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility. The conference was organized by Cambridge economics professor Partha Dasgupta, Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor V. "Ram" Ramanathan, and French Archbishop Roland Minnerath.
"Our idea is not to catalogue environmental problems," said the organizers. "We propose instead to view Humanity's interchanges with Nature through a triplet of fundamental, but inter-related Human needs – Food, Health, and Energy – and ask our respective Academies to work together to invite experts from the natural and the social sciences to speak of the various pathways that both serve those needs and reveal constraints on Nature's ability to meet them."
The workshop was attended by economists, theologians and scientists in a wide range of fields related to sustainability. Award-winning New York Times environmental columnist Andrew Revkin attended the conference and reported on the fascinating discussions taking place at this unique gathering.