Juergen Weichselgartner

senior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2015/2016
discipline Geography
Professor, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Department of Geography

Research project

Societal Transformation and Climate Change (TransClimate)


Increasing awareness of the limits of climate science, as currently practiced, and climate change adaptation, as currently framed, has focused analysis on the pathways through which successive adaptation decisions and activities unfold. While state-of-the-art research has articulated context-driven, problem-focused, and interdisciplinary approaches to societal problem-solving, many structures and processes in climate governance are trapped in a paradigm of linear causality, top-down accountability, and fragmented responsibility. There is a need of research that crosses established disciplinary boundaries and explores methods for identifying and validating drivers of transformation and climate change, as well as mechanisms for positive exchange between science, policy, practice, and the public. Specifically, there is a lack of transdisciplinary research tackling questions of climate change response and a need to apply multi-stakeholder research designs, emphasising co-designed and context-sensitive practices


The proposed project “Societal Transformation and Climate Change” (TransClimate) emphasises adaptation as a reflexive-policy space that can also address wider root causes and starts where other projects usually end: with the needs of decision-makers in climate-related policy and practice. Contrasting established linear forms of knowledge transfer from science to policy to practice, the project is a straightforward attempt to enhance climate governance by co-designing context-appropriate climate response actions together with relevant societal actors. TransClimate is designed to achieve three overall goals: (i) analysing climate knowledge across scientific domains and societal sectors; (ii): examining structure- and process-related barriers hindering efficient knowledge-action systems; and (iii): identifying pathways towards effective climate change governance. Co-produced knowledge and co-designed adaptation pathways are socially robust, context-sensitive, and more capable of concerted climate response action.




Juergen Weichselgartner is Professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Department of Geography. He holds a Ph.D in Geography from the University of Bonn. His main research areas are natural hazard and global change research, risk and disaster management, knowledge systems and science communication.

Selected publications


'From Co-Production of Knowledge to Transdisciplinary Research: Lessons from the Quest for Producing Socially Robust Knowledge', with B. Truffer, in B. Werlen (ed.), Global Sustainability, Cultural Perspectives and Challenges for Transdisciplinary Integrated Research, Springer, Berlin, 2015, pp. 89-106.


'Geographies of resilience: challenges and opportunities of a descriptive concept', with I. Kelman, Progress in Human Geography, vol. 39, no. 3, 2015, pp. 249-267.


'The role of knowledge in disaster risk reduction', with P. Pigeon, International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, vol. 6, no. 2, 2015, pp. 107-116.


'Hotspots of coastal vulnerability: a DPSIR analysis to find societal pathways and responses', with A. Newton, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, vol. 140, 2014, pp. 123-133.


Risiko – Wissen – Wandel: Strukturen und Diskurse problemorientierter Umweltforschung, 283 Seiten , Oekom, München, 2013.


'Priority knowledge for marine environments: grand challenges at the science-society nexus', with C.A. Marandino, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 4, no. 3, 2012, pp. 323-330.


'Barriers in the Science-Policy-Practice Interface: toward a Knowledge-Action-System in Global Environmental Change Research', with R.E. Kasperson, Global Environmental Change, vol. 20, no. 2, 2010, pp. 266-277.


junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Collegium de Lyon
discipline Linguistics
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Collegium de Lyon
discipline Linguistics
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Collegium de Lyon
discipline Philosophy
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
Collegium de Lyon
discipline History