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Unite Behind the Science with Professor Katherine Richardson (Episode 1)


“For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear,” Greta Thunberg told world leaders at the UN General Assembly on Monday. So we spoke to someone who knows the science. Meet Katherine Richardson: Professor in Biological Oceanography, Head of the Sustainability Science Center at the University of Copenhagen, recipient of numerous grants and awards, lead and co-author of countless scientific publications, wife, mother and grandmother.


Katherine will tell you that tell you that it was “by chance” (and her love of phytoplankton - the tiny organisms in the sea) that she ended up where she is. Early on she was one of two women invited to the committee for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, along with Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen, and the first chair of the IPCC Burt Bolin. Conscious of the importance of representing a female voice in a male-dominated industry, Katherine recalls that moment being a “game-changer.”


Today, Katherine is a vital voice in achieving the 2030 agenda. We caught up with the accomplished and celebrated Professor to discuss her involvement in defining environmental sustainability, the cause and effect of climate change or the Earth’s systems, and what you and I need to do to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. “The Earth doesn’t have an umbilical cord, we’re not going to get more resources when we’ve used them all. Sustainable development is about learning how to use those resources as effectively as possible,” she told us, “if we continue to live like we do in (developed countries) then we would need over four Earths to supply the resources needed for that kind of a lifestyle.”

This is the first in a three-part video series with Professor Katherine Richardson, one of 15 independent scientists to co-author the UNs Sustainable Development Report ‘The Future is Now’ published on September 17th, 2019.


Katherine Richardson is Professor and Leader of the Sustainability Science Centre at Copenhagen University, and IMPACTR Advisory Board Member.

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