The ‘Sum’ of Everything

Rainbow fungi

I think we need a new ‘discipline’. One that takes into account the way the world actually works. I call this new discipline Sumbiology (from the Greek sumbios = living together, ology = a branch of learning and knowledge).

Sumbiology is the study of humans ‘living together’ with the totality of life. Sumbiologists study life-supporting relationships between people, other biota, ecosystems and bio-physical systems at places from the local to global scales.

Sumbiologists also study the dynamics of those relationships within Earth Systems so that decision-making about how a good life (Sumbioethics) and a good politics (Sumbiocracy) on this shared Earth can take place.

A ‘new’ idea that might emerge from Sumbiology as a transdisciplinary field of knowledge is the Sumbiversity (from the Greek sumbios = living together, plus Medieval Latin universitās = a group of scholars from the Latin for whole, totality, universe). A sumbiversity is an institution of learning devoted to supporting transdisciplinary collaboration between all the forms and types of knowledge humans have created. In the Sumbiversity, scholars will live and work together (collaboration, not competition), on the totality of knowledge needed to live on this Earth.

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About glennaalbrecht

Farmosopher at The Wallaby Farm, NSW: Glenn Albrecht retired as professor of sustainability at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia in June 2014. He is now an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney. He was at the University of Newcastle as Associate Professor of Environmental Studies until December 2008. He is an environmental philosopher with both theoretical and applied interests in the relationship between ecosystem and human health, broadly defined. He pioneered the research domain of 'psychoterratic' or earth related mental health and emotional conditions with his concept of 'solastalgia' or the lived experience of negative environmental change. Solastalgia has become accepted worldwide as a key concept in understanding the impact of environmental change in academic, creative arts, social impact assessment and legal contexts. Glenn Albrecht’s work is now being used extensively in course readings, new research theses and academic research in many disciplines including geography and environmental studies. His work is also being published in languages other than English. He has publications in the field of animal ethics and has published on the ethics of relocating endangered species in the face of climate change pressures and the ethics of the thoroughbred horse industry worldwide. With Professor Phillip McManus (Sydney University) he has completed a book which was published in 2012 by Routledge on the thoroughbred industry. He also published with Professor McManus on the newly emerging domain of ‘psychoterratic geographies’ (McManus and Albrecht 2013). With colleagues, Nick Higginbotham (University of Newcastle) and Linda Connor (Sydney University) under Australian Research Council Discovery Project grants, he has researched the impact of mining in the Upper Hunter Region of NSW, Australia and the impact of climate change on communities, again in the Hunter Region. He has researched the impact of gas fracking and coal mining on people and communities in the Gloucester region of NSW. Glenn has also been involved as a Chief Investigator in an ARC Discovery Grant Project on the social and ethical aspects of the thoroughbred horse industry worldwide and was a partner investigator on ARC Linkage Grant funded research on the ethics of feral buffalo control in Arnhem Land. He has held an NCCARF grant at Murdoch University to study the likely impact of climate change on water provision in two inland cities (Broken Hill and Kalgoorlie). Glenn Albrecht is also a pioneer of transdisciplinary thinking and, with Higginbotham and Connor, produced a major book on this topic, Health Social Science: A Transdisciplinary and Complexity Perspective with Oxford University Press in 2001. His current major transdisciplinary research interest, the positive and negative psychological, emotional and cultural relationships people have to place and its transformation is one that sees him having a national and international research profile in an emergent field of academic inquiry where he has been recognised as a global pioneer. International citations to his academic works are now increasing annually and reference to his concept of solastalgia in global art and culture is now too extensive to fully document. Glenn now works as an independent academic based in the Hunter Region of NSW. He continues to research and publish in his chosen fields. He is a current grant assessor for Commonwealth Ministry of Arts grant applications and an Honorary Associate in the School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney.
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2 Responses to The ‘Sum’ of Everything

  1. Morten Steiniche says:

    Hi Glenn
    I’m a Danish journalist very interested to do an interview with you on your work and thoughts. I found one email address that does not work. Can you please email at mortensteiniche ad gmail.com.
    Best Regards,
    Morten Steiniche

    Like

  2. Paul Bogard says:

    Hello Glenn,
    I too would like to connect with you for a possible interview for a new book. You can read more about my work at paul-bogard.com. I would be grateful if you would contact me: pwbogard (at) gmail.com, or let me know how I can contact you directly.
    With thanks, Paul

    Like

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