Translator Disclaimer
1 July 2010 Sustainability: Virtuous or Vulgar?
John A. Vucetich, Michael P. Nelson
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Progress in understanding and achieving sustainability requires addressing it as both a scientific and an ethical issue. If sustainability is defined as “meeting human needs in a socially just manner without depriving ecosystems of their health,” most of the words in its definition are normative or value laden. Depending on how critical normative terms such as “human needs” and “ecosystem health” are defined, sustainability could mean anything from “exploit as much as desired without infringing on the future ability to exploit as much as desired” to “exploit as little as necessary to maintain a meaningful life.” We suggest that there are five key areas of sustainability. By examining how recent university cluster hires in sustainability compare with these five areas, we show not only how hiring has been radically lopsided but also how ethics has been entirely ignored. Lack of attention to the ethical dimension of sustainability is stifling progress toward sustainability.

© 2010 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
John A. Vucetich and Michael P. Nelson "Sustainability: Virtuous or Vulgar?," BioScience 60(7), 539-544, (1 July 2010). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.7.9
Published: 1 July 2010
JOURNAL ARTICLE
6 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top