Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #151
CE Offered: BACB

The Dynamic Planetary Context for Behavior Analysis

Sunday, May 24, 2015
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Lila Cockrell Theatre (CC)
Area: CSE; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Angela Sanguinetti, Ph.D.
Chair: Angela Sanguinetti (University of California, Irvine)
ROBERT GILMAN (Context Institute)
Robert C. Gilman, Ph.D., is a renowned theoretician on the topic of sustainability. His early career was devoted to the physical sciences. He received his bachelor's degree in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967 and his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Princeton University in 1969. He taught and did research at the University of Minnesota, the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and served as a research associate at NASA's Institute for Space Studies. In the 1970s, Dr. Gilman changed his focus when he decided that "the stars could wait, but the planet couldn't." His on-the-ground sustainability efforts have included co-founding the Global Ecovillage Network, developing the Context Institute, serving as city councilman in Langley, WA, and working with the American Institute of Architects on issues regarding sustainability and the built environment. Dr. Gilman is currently immersed in applying the breadth of his knowledge to creating a core curriculum for 21st Century change agents.

Where is the momentum of history taking us? What can demographic, economic, technological, environmental, and cultural trends tell us about our possible futures? What role might the science and practice of behavior analysis play in shaping that future? In this talk, Dr. Robert Gilman will address these questions from his perspective as a former astrophysicist who has spent the past 36 years exploring the possibilities for 21st century sustainable cultures. Central to this perspective is the idea that humanity is now involved in a cultural transformation as profound as the shift out of hunting and gathering and into agriculture and cities that happened roughly 5,000-10,000 years ago. The gracefulness of this transition depends on human behavior. Behavior analysts are uniquely equipped to steer global culture toward a future that is necessarily characterized by sustainability if they situate their science and practice in the context of a whole-systems understanding of our rapidly changing societal and natural environment. This talk is designed to provide that broad context, outlining important characteristics of a more sustainable future that can be promoted by all behavior analysts, regardless of whether their work explicitly focuses on issues of sustainability.

Keyword(s): cultural history, sustainability, systems theory



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