Impacts

Impact 1: New connections between people who are thinking about how perception of past process may inform our understanding of contemporary challenges. This will take two forms: a) the generation of a predominantly UK-based network that brings anthropology, cognate disciplines, and non-academics into regular dialogue; and b) the enhancement of international networks that already exist as a function of researchers’ cross disciplinary and non academic involvement in their respective areas of research.

Impact 2: Enhanced understanding of the communications processes involved, which clearly forms a central part of both the research process itself and of the ways in which we disseminate results. Closely connected to this is our awareness that the process of defining what constitutes ‘a problem’, evidence, and argument with relation to the past presents different methodological challenges in different disciplines which in turn generate distinct communication strategies. It is thus our intention, from the beginning, to unite knowledgeable professionals in order to examine those methodological issues and not just ‘bring perspectives together’.

Impact 3: Advance in anthropological contributions to our understanding of how people perceive, interpret and communicate their knowledge of environmental processes. This reflects our specific research on climate histories. We shall build on existing cross-disciplinary and international networks with a potentially global reach with attention to: a) the various ways in which people across cultures understand change over time; and b) in specific contexts, the ways in which those knowledge practices are brought into tension or collaboration with governmental and non-governmental institutions whose actions have direct impacts on local conditions.

Impact 4: Results communicated beyond the anthropological community. In order to ensure that this anthropological research is not only generated in the context of cross-disciplinary collaboration, we will create a website, hosted by the Department of Social Anthropology but open to the public, with links to schools networks, academic networks, environmental organizations and historical societies. In addition, we will engage with the existing Cambridge academic/industry network in order to enhance our communication with the business sector. We will foster links with schools, not only electronically but through school visits if appropriate. And as academics, we will produce panels for conferences, collective and individual publications.

Impact 5: Continuity by using the 12-month period to seek substantial multi-year funding, in order to organize a major international conference and to promote further in-depth research.