Dr Tim Weiskel
Research Director, Cambridge Climate Research Associates

Tim Weiskel came up to Oxford nearly fifty years ago in 1969.  He first read Social Anthropology and then Modern History for two different degrees.  Ever since arriving in Oxford, the Dons, Fellows and students of Balliol College have had an impact and continuing influence on his life and thinking.

Since leaving Oxford Tim Weiskel has taught social anthropology and history in American universities, including Williams College, Yale University, Tufts, the Harvard Divinity School and the Harvard Extension School.  His work has analyzed the cultural perceptions and misconceptions that have emerged from European colonial expansion since 1492. 

Over the last forty years his courses have focused upon the ecological legacy of European colonialism as well as development studies, global climate change and environmental justice.  His earliest work at Oxford was published by the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford (JASO) entitled “Rubbish and Racism: Problems of Boundary in an Ecosystem.”  This anthropology article was later edited for a wider audience and published by the Yale Review.  His D.Phil dissertation in Modern History from Oxford was published by the Clarendon Press of OUP in 1980 and is scheduled to be reprinted soon in America.

His work has highlighted an ecological critique of broad areas of international public policy, including the “Green Revolution” and many of the failed (but still popular) development strategies of “growth economics.”   Tim draws attention specifically to potential human role in either creating or destroying topsoil.  He argues that whether or not humans can learn effectively to build – rather than destroy – topsoil will directly determine whether or not they can succeed in developing a regenerative agriculture capable of sustaining human life in the future.

Despite discouraging global ecological trends, Dr. Weiskel feels that through initiatives like “Voices from Oxford (VOX),”  the Internet represents a very hopeful technology to provide vitally needed communication across all cultures in a timely manner.  In this regard, Dr. Weiskel has devoted his attention in recent years to developing online reference materials, weblogs, tutorials and seminar courses to meet the needs of students, universities, corporations and responsible global citizen groups from around the world.  The goal is to empower individuals and local communities to develop practical strategies for the transitions that we must all now undertake to survive and thrive sustainably as a participant species in a complex and rapidly changing global ecosystem. 

More Content

Video: Tim Weiskel - Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet Is Not Possible

Video: Tim Weiskel - Advice to Young People: Environmental Sustainability

Article: Can Humanity Survive the Anthropocene? by Tim Weiskel