Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

About The Institute


Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.
John Dewey

In the 20th century, technological advances in food, water, and medicine enhanced the lives of billions of people.

But the means to this end—fossil fuels, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, irrigation and land clearing, urbanization and industrialization—have become a threat to our continued well-being. 


At the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, we believe that the grandest challenge facing 21st century society is discovering how to achieve a prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world. 

We aim to promote and protect both sustainable human societies and the natural world that supports them. 

Our expert scholars transcend the traditional boundaries of their fields, working together to integrate and balance multi-facteted, competing interests and to uphold both human dignity and ecological integrity. 

We work with students to engage with the deep complexity of human-environment interactions, rigorously preparing them for leadership in life after Brown. 



We focus our efforts on vulnerable people and places across the globe, deploying knowledge and skill to make an impact in the lives of everyday people and ecosystems.

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