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Black Sky Resilience Group

Black Sky Resilience Group

The Black Sky Resilience Group (BSRG) is a Cambridge-based interdisciplinary research network. It was established in 2019 by Alexander Taylor (Department of Social Anthropology) and Henri van Soest (Department of Land Economy) with funding from the Centre for the study of Existential Risk (CSER) and the ‘In Search of “Good” Energy Policy Small Grants Scheme’ run by the Energy@Cambridge Interdisciplinary Research Centre. The BSRG aims to connect researchers from across disciplines whose work touches on themes of societal and infrastructure resilience. The Group’s name is taken from a recent term coined by the Electric Infrastructure Security (EIS) Council, a US-based non-profit research entity that hosts international collaboration on resilience and response planning, addressing severe hazards to lifeline infrastructures. As defined by the EIS Council, ‘black sky hazards’ are catastrophic events that could severely disrupt the normal functioning of critical infrastructures in multiple regions for long durations.Black sky hazards don’t respect the socio-political boundaries of nations, industries, sectors or disciplines.Consequently, they invite a similar international, cross-sector and cross-disciplinary approach to address them.There are currently over 50 members in the BSRG, from a diversity of disciplines, different career stages and backgrounds. The current strategic aims of the Group are as follows:

 

1)   To understand and scope the research on infrastructure and societal resilience being undertaken at the University of Cambridge.

2)   To uncover and strengthen links between different research projects across the six schools of the University and build a community of researchers working on resilience.

3)   To provide members of the network with a platform for sharing knowledge, methods and experience across disciplines.

4)   To bring the latest research on resilience into dialogue with policymakers, industry leaders and members of the resilience community.

5)   To help improve understandings of resilience by situating resilience theories in historical contextand by critically analysing, unpacking and problematising the concept of resilience as it appearsacross academic disciplines and proliferating policy and industry domains (e.g. as a property of complex adaptive systems; as a situated cultural practice; as a political discourse or neoliberal form of governmentality)

6)   To develop interdisciplinary, international and cross-sector collaborative research projects with a focus on societal resilience. 

7)   To conduct theoretical and empirical investigations of the scientific, policy and industry use of resilience(understanding what resilience means in different disciplines and across different industry and policy contexts is essential for undertaking integrated research)

 

Awarding grant body:

The Black Sky Resilience Group was established in 2019 by Alexander Taylor (Department of Social Anthropology) and Henri van Soest (Department of Land Economy) with funding from the Centre for the study of Existential Risk (CSER) and the ‘In Search of “Good” Energy Policy Small Grants Scheme’ run by the Energy@Cambridge Interdisciplinary Research Centre.

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