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Science Studies Research Workshop | Talk by James Elliott (Rice University), “How and Why Social Inequities Matter for Climate Resilience”

May 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The UB RENEW Institute and the HI Science Studies Research Workshop will host James Elliott of Rice University for his talk, “How and Why Social Inequities Matter for Climate Resilience”.

Despite their global nature, climate change and related hazards are not things we experience “together.” Rather they reveal and exacerbate social inequities that call for recognition and scientific investigation to advance a more just and equitable future. Universities can be leaders in this advancement but only if they match prowess in engineering and natural sciences with equally cutting-edge social and humanistic research. To support that effort, this talk will review the concept of resilience in the social sciences. It will then spotlight recent findings on social inequities in successive phases of disaster response before diving more deeply into current NSF-funded research on residential retreat as a long-term strategy of climate adaptation.

James (Jim) Elliott has served as a program advisor for the US National Science Foundation and as the Co-editor of Sociological Perspectives, the official journal of the Pacific Sociological Association. He is a recent contributor to the US Federal Emergency Management’s Civil Rights Summit on Climate Adaptation as well as to the National Academies of Sciences’ recent national workshop on the social challenges of tropical cyclones. His co-authored book Sites Unseen: Uncovering Hidden Hazards in American Cities recently won the Robert E. Park Award for best book in community and urban sociology from the American Sociological Association.

Professor and department chair of Sociology, Dr. Elliott’s research focuses on the social production of inequalities and environmental hazards. His early work examined how globalization contributes to structural underemployment; how neighborhood segregation shapes job networks and opportunities; how ethnic divisions of labor form and persist over time; and, how race and gender intersect to open and close access to workplace power in diverse urban labor markets. His more recent research focuses on social inequities revealed and exacerbated by natural hazards and government-led recoveries as well as the historical accumulation and systemic spread of industrial hazards. He is a Faculty Affiliate of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, past editor of Sociological Perspectives, and former advisor to the National Science Foundation’s program in Sociology.

If you plan to attend this talk,  please register here.

In addition to his talk, there will be a meet-and-greet with Dr. Elliott the day before , May 7th, at Duende. This gathering begins at 4:45 and all are welcome to attend. Please sign up here if you are interested.

Dr. Elliott will also be available to meet with faculty in and around the spine. If you are faculty and interested in meeting with Jim please sign up here.

This event is part of the RENEW Institute (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) “Catalyzing Conversations” Series and is co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology.


May 8
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Science Studies Research Workshop


509 O’Brian Hall
North Campus + Google Map