Johannes Lundershausen

Research assistant in the project Nature and Sustainable Development




Johannes joint the research group ‘Ethics of Science in the Research for Sustainable Development‘in October 2013. As a junior researcher he has been working on the question, which ways of thinking and acting upon global environmental change the concept of the Anthropocene represents and enables. He is particularly interested in the multiple and ambiguous meanings of the concept and their impact on the broader sustainability discourse.


This interest is also reflected in Johannes’s postgraduate degree in environmental politics and sociology from University College London as well as his past work experience. As such, Johannes has worked at the ‘International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change’ at the United Nations University in Bonn as well in the research group ‘Science Policy’ at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin. In addition to issues concerning the production and use of knowledge, Johannes is versed in the topic of climate change adaptation in the Global South – particularly in India and Tanzania.


PhD project: An analysis of the norms underpinning Anthropocene science


Both Earth system science and stratigraphy have worked to define the Anthropocene, a proposed geological epoch in Earth history in which humans are a major force in the functioning of the Earth system. The societal relevance of this kind of research is growing rapidly as the Anthropocene and Earth system change generally receive ever greater public attention. At the same time, the normative assumptions as well as the societal implications engendered by these valuable scientific analyses of the Anthropocene are rarely reflected upon. Within the context of the privileged role of scientific expertise within contemporary debates about sustainability, this PhD project analyses the norms underpinning Anthropocene science.



Peer-reviewed publications


Lundershausen, J. (forthcoming) ‘An investigation into the role of stratigraphy as the arbiter of the Anthropocene’, Anthropocene Review.


Lundershausen, J. (2015) ‘Parameters of the Anthropocene’ IN Meisch S, Lundershausen J, Bossert L and Rockoff M (2015) Ethics of Science in the Research for Sustainable Development. Baden-Baden: Nomos, pp. 301-322.


Qualifying coursework


Postgraduate dissertation: ‘Adapting to Change or Changing Adaptation – A Conceptual Evaluation and Critical Discourse Analysis of Climate Change Adaptation in Tanzania‘, University College London, London (UK).


Undergraduate dissertation: ‘Challenging Rationalism in Global Environmental Governance – An Ontological Re-orientation towards Nature‘, University of Surrey, Guildford (UK).




'Anthropocene: be wary of social impact', Nature Correspondence



Esure blog (


‘Opening-up (to) the politics of Anthropocene science’ – guest post at Geo: Geography and Environment (


‘How scientists talk about the Anthropocene – and why it matters’ – guest post at Global Applied Ethics Institute (


‘Leben in einer neuen Zeit – die Idee des Anthropozäns’ – contribution to documentary by the German Federal Agency for Political Education (



E-Mail: johannes.lundershausen[at]

Phone:  +49 / 7071 / 29-75677

Fax: +49 / 7071 / 29-35298