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Ohio University Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds (right) listens to Cymie Payne from Rutgers University speak at the 2016 International Research Conference.

Ohio University Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds (right) listens to Cymie Payne from Rutgers University speak at the 2016 International Research Conference.

Photo courtesy of: Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs

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Vice Provost Edmonds serves as invited speaker for 2016 International Research Conference


Ohio University Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds was an invited speaker at the 2016 International Research Conference at the Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs on Wednesday, July 21.

The annual conference, titled “Advancing International Research Collaborations: Policy and Practice,” brought together university leaders, researchers, administrators, and funding agency and industry representatives from the U.S. and around the world to discuss key priorities, trends and ways to increase opportunities for international research. 

Edmonds presented, “Does Who Controls the Galaxy Control the Earth?” which focused on the advent of space development, its implications on the governance and sustainability of the world within the universe and the need for talent and research in this field. She was part of a three-member panel on the “Global Commons,” which included the presentation “The Concept of Sustainability and Human Nature” examining the impact of climate change on Earth, led by Paul Falkowski, a distinguished professor and Bennett L. Smith Chair in Business and Natural Resources, Departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, and the presentation “Governance of the Oceans: High Seas Freedoms or Common Heritage of Humankind?” led by Cymie Payne, who serves as an associate professor, Department of Human Ecology and the School of Law, Rutgers University. 

The panelists and audience discussed the role of universities in this global commons. The talent and innovation agenda needs to be placed in an integrated framework of growth of investments, development and degradation that spans from the sea to space and that can tackle pressing issues such as climate change and governance. A key outcome of this conversation was the appreciation that these issues are universal and that for all to benefit there needs to be a cooperative approach that engages scholars across the disciplines, countries and agencies in problem solving to secure Earth’s sustainability.

It was also noted that the 2015 to 2030 United Nations Sustainability Goals reinforce this imperative as they speak to “a broad and universal policy agenda … devoting ourselves collectively to the pursuit of global development” and of "win-win" cooperation which can bring huge gains to all countries and all parts of the world.” General consensus was that higher education has a key role to play in fostering the skills of the next generation of talent to embrace cooperative and inclusive approaches to development, to expand the scope of critical thinking from the seas to the universe and to appreciate the universality of today’s global issues.  

This article was provided by the Office of Global Affairs and International Studies.