Nagoya University Global COE Program: From Earth System Science to Basic and Clinical Environmental Studies


Basic Environmental Studies

Basic Environmental Studies are concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of those environmental issues which are felt universally, which go beyond local regions and are common to us all. This is in contrast to Clinical Environmental Studies, which are grounded firmly in discrete regions and focused firmly on finding solutions to practical problems from diagnosis through to the treatment stage.

Environmental Studies have traditionally been separated into two distinct fields. On the one side have been those studies that perceive human society as just one part of the overall earth-life system (Earth and Environmental Sciences), from a mainly scientific perspective. On the other, there have been those studies that place human society firmly in the center of their viewfinder, based on an engineering, agricultural and social sciences-focused approach, considering the wider environment as a peripheral element (such as Urban and Social Environmental Studies).

The former of these, Earth and Environmental Studies, has traditionally held diagnostic research at its core, and has actively adopted a global perspective in this research. By contrast, the ultimate goal of Urban and Social Environmental Studies has always been treatment-based research. The discipline has also been characterized by a focus on specific discrete regions.

Today, however, we need to take a global perspective even when tackling regional environmental issues. It is also vital, when developing measures to tackle environmental issues on a global scale, that the reality of local conditions and the efficacy of supposed "treatments" be considered. This is why this GCOE aims to construct a new academic framework for Environmental Studies. As we are faced with issues common to the entire global community, this new framework will enable us to consider the entire cycle of environmental issues, from diagnosis to treatment, right through to the evaluation of the impact of treatment prescribed.

By comparing and contrasting clinical research from each region of the globe, we can hope to identify universal concepts and formulate methodology. We can work on diagnosing global issues on diverse spatial and temporal scales. We can continue to study, in ever greater depth, the philosophy, perception of nature, and perspective on human life that lie at the very core of Environmental Studies.

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