Rediscovering soils: knowledge and care in the world of soil
An international workshop at the Department of Geography, and funded by the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, has brought together scholars studying soils from social science, arts and humanities, and natural science perspectives.
The workshop fostered interdisciplinary dialogue in order to engage with the urgent global crisis of soil health. Hosted by Sheffield’s Anna Krzywoszynska, with co-organisers Greta Marchesi (Dartmouth College, USA), and Puig de la Bellacasa (Leicester University), the workshop created an environment for collaboration and intellectual curiosity around soils as a resource which is reclaiming its place in scholarly and policy arenas.
The success of this workshop is at the heart of the Soil Care Network, a rapidly developing international community of scholars committed to working across disciplines to tackle the crises in soil health. Anna Krzywoszynska, the network’s convenor, explained her reasons for establishing the network:
Soils are increasingly spoken about in terms of crisis: as a disappearing and endangered resource which we must urgently protect. However, the proliferating calls for action open up more questions than they answer. The questions of what soils are, how are they to be managed, by whom, and in whose interest, are central, inter-connected and only starting to be tackled. Interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary dialogue must therefore be fostered with the same sense of urgency.
The workshop engaged participants and presenters with key questions pertaining to soil care, and made possible further discussion across disciplinary boundaries. The enthusiasm and involvement of all participants was overwhelming, and we all hope that this event can be extended and repeated in the future.
Details about the workshop and video of the presentations, can be found at the workshop website: www.soilcarenetwork.com
The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: grantham.sheffield.ac.uk