Reconceptualizing the 'Anthropos' in the Anthropocene: Integrating the social sciences and humanities in global environmental change research. Articles uri icon


  • Szerszynski, Bronislaw
  • Sörlin, Sverker
  • Marks, John
  • Avril, Bernard
  • Crumley, Carole
  • Hackmann, Heide
  • Holm, Poul
  • Ingram, John
  • Kirman, Alan
  • Weehuizen, Rifka

publication date

  • April 2013

start page

  • 3

end page

  • 13


  • 28

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1462-9011


  • There is growing recognition that humans are faced with a critical and narrowing window of opportunity to halt or reverse some of the key indicators involved in the environmental crisis. Given human activities' scale and impact, as well as the overly narrow perspectives of environmental research's dominant natural sciences, a major effort is necessary to place the perspectives and insights of the humanities' and social sciences' perspectives and insights at the forefront. Such effort will require developing integrated approaches, projects, and institutions that truly do so. This article's goal is to help mobilize the social sciences and the humanities on the topic of sustainability transitions, but also call for a meaningful research agenda to acknowledge the profound implications of the advent of the Anthropocene epoch. We formulate the need for an innovative research agenda based on a careful consideration of the changing human condition as linked to global environmental change. The humanities and social sciences will need to change and adapt to this pressing, historic task.


  • global change research; anthropocene; social sciences; humanities.