February 18, 2008
Today, students at Columbia University launched the inaugural issue of Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development. After brainstorming their ideas in a small lounge at Columbia, the students went on to build a global, online publication dedicated to the promotion of interdisciplinary dialogue on sustainable development.
Consilience (inspired by E.O. Wilson’s book of the same title) represents an innovative and exciting effort to bring students, professors and practitioners into direct conversation with each other and promote solution-oriented research. It establishes an academically rigorous platform to allow for discussion and cross-pollination of methodologies between disciplines.
Editors of the journal note that the diversity of topics covered in the first issue of Consilience is a testament to the breadth of disciplines necessary for sustainable development. The articles in this inaugural issue explore issues of physician migration in global health, the role of uncertainty in climate change, and human rights, among others.
The editors hope that Consilience will represent an important contribution to the study of sustainable development and encourage other students to become involved in research activities. “Our aim is to utilize an online and accessible medium to promote innovative ideas across disciplines around the world,” says Managing Editor Hannah Lee.
By December of 2007, Consilience had received over sixty submissions from around the world. Authors submitted pieces from China, Tanzania, Panama, India, Pakistan and the U.S. In the end, the Editorial Board assembled an academic journal containing thirteen articles, including academic papers, field notes and opinion pieces. Each selected submission contains rigorous research and targeted solutions for the issues raised.
Consilience will hold an official launch event on February 18th, 2008 in Low Rotunda with Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, as the keynote speaker. Doors will open at 7:00 PM and the event will begin at 7:30 PM. Other speakers for the evening include the Consilience advisor, Dr. Joshua Zivin (Director of the Ph.D. Program in Sustainable Development), and Anubha Agarwal (Editor-in-Chief of the journal).