Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion: Governing Environmental Risk

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Discussion: Governing Environmental Risk

Politics of PrecautionTuesdays, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Russell Sage 4711.   (room is in far east corner of the bldg)

Each Tuesday Spring 2013 there will be an interdisciplinary sustainability discussion about governance of environmental risk.   The discussion will focus on Berkeley political science/business professor David Vogel’s award-winning book The Politics of Precaution:  Regulating Health, Safety and Environmental Risk in Europe and the United States.  The discussion will be run by Professors Philippe Baveye (Environmental Engineering) and Kim Fortun (STS), with the support of Rensselaer’s Excellence in Interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies Task Force.  Students may register for 2-credits.  The discussion is open to all faculty, staff and members of the community.

See Vogel’s own description of the book and an announcement of the award it received at these links:–bpd082412.php

Vogel’s book is available as a free E-Book through Rensselaer library.  The book can be purchased, printed or as an e-book, from Princeton University Press, which also provides the first chapter as a free download:

We will read one chapter (approximately 25 pages) of Vogel’s book each week. As a group, students in the course will work to assess possibilities for a precautionary approach to environmental governance in the Capital Region, modeled on San Francisco’s example (see   Their assessment will be presented at the end of the semester.  We also hope to host David Vogel at Rensselaer near the end of the semester.

For more information, contact Philippe Baveye ( or Kim Fortun (