Philosophy and public policy (especially international governance, the role of moral principles in policy deliberation, and risk analysis), environmental ethics and policy (especially climate change mitigation and adaptation, restoration ecology, and terrestrial biodiversity), and the ethics of emerging technologies (especially nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and geoengineering
Andrew Light is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy and Director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he works primarily on international climate and science policy.
Light is an internationally recognized expert on the relationship between environmental policy and ethics and on the social dimensions of emerging technologies. He is the author of 76 articles and book chapters, and has authored, co-authored, and edited 17 books including Environmental Values (2008), Philosophy and Design (2008), Controlling Technology (2005), Environmental Ethics (2003), Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice (2003), Technology and the Good Life? (2000), and Environmental Pragmatism (1996). He is currently working on a book on the moral dimensions of restoration ecology in a changing climate.
His doctoral work was at the University of California at Riverside and he completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in environmental risk assessment in the School of Medicine at the University of Alberta, Canada. Before moving to Washington, D.C., he taught at the University of Montana, SUNY Binghamton, New York University, and the University of Washington, Seattle. Light is a frequent advisor to various agencies on environmental and technology policy, including the State Department, DOE, U.S. Forest Service, the National Parks Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico and is co-editor of the journal Ethics, Policy, and Environment.
Light, Andrew, John O'Neill, and Alan Holland. 2008. Environmental Values. Routledge.
Light, Andrew, Peter Kroes, Stephen Moore, and Pieter Veermas, eds. 2008. Philosophy and Design: From Engineering to Architecture. Springer.
Light, Andrew. Forthcoming, 2012. On the Need for Front Line Climate Ethics. In The Environment (Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, ed. B. Kabesenche, M. O’Rourke and M. Slater. MIT Press.
---- Forthcoming, 2012. The Death of Restoration? In Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change: Human Virtues of the Future, ed. A. Thompson and J. Bendik-Keymer. MIT Press.
---- Forthcoming, 2011. Climate Ethics for Climate Action. In Environmental Ethics: What Really Matters? What Really Works?, 2nd edition, ed. D. Schmidtz and E. Willott. Oxford University Press.
---- 2010. Methodological Pragmatism, Pluralism, and Environmental Ethics. In Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions, ed. D. Keller. Blackwell Publishers.
---- 2010. Love Conquers All, Even Time? In Time and Identity (Topics in Contemporary Philosophy), ed. J. Campbell, M. O’Rourke, and H. Silverstein. MIT Press.
---- 2010. The Moral Journey of Environmentalism: From Wilderness to Place. In Pragmatic Sustainability: Theoretical and Practical Tools, ed. S. Moore. Routledge Press.
---- 2009. Does a Public Environmental Philosophy Need a Convergence Hypothesis? In Nature in Common: Environmental Ethics and the Contested Foundations of Environmental Policy, ed. B. Minteer. Temple University Press.
---- 2009. Ecological Restoration: From Functional Descriptions to Normative Prescriptions. In Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives, ed. P. Kroes and U. Krohs. MIT Press.
---- 2009. Anything Looks Bad if the Bar’s Set Too High, the G8 Included. Foreign Policy July 15.
---- 2008. Restorative Relationships: From Artifacts to ‘Natural’ Systems. In Healing Natures, Repairing Relationships: New Perspectives on Restoring Ecological Spaces, ed. R. France. Green Frigate Books.
---- 2008. Ecological Restoration. In Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, ed. J. B. Callicott and R. Frodeman. Macmillian Reference.
Light, Andrew, and J. Sheppard. 2007. Rolston on Urban Environments. In Nature, Value, Duty: Life on Earth with Holmes Rolston III, ed. W. Ouderkirk and C. Preston. Springer.
Contributing author unless otherwise noted.
2010. The U.S. Role in International Climate Finance: A Blueprint for Near Term Leadership. Washington, D.C.: Alliance for Climate Protection and Center for American Progress.
2010. Investing in Clean Energy: How to Maximize Clean Energy Deployment from International Climate Finance. London: Global Climate Network.
2010. Development Funding Done Right: How to Ensure Multilateral Development Banks Finance Clean and Renewable Energy Projects to Combat Global Warming. Washington, D.C.: Center for American Progress.
2009. Counting the World’s Capacity for Emission Reductions, sole author. Washington, D.C.: Center for American Progress.
2009. Creating Opportunity: Low-Carbon Jobs in an Interconnected World. London: Global Climate Network.
2009. A Roadmap for U.S.-China Cooperation on Carbon Capture and Sequestration. Washington, D.C.: Center for American Progress and Asia Society.
2009. Meeting the Climate Challenge: Core Elements of an Effective Response to Climate Change. Washington, D.C.: Center for American Progress and UN Foundation.
2009. Breaking Through on Technology: Overcoming the Barriers to the Development and Wide Deployment of Low-Carbon Technology. London: Global Climate Network.
"Moving Beyond Kyoto: Climate Justice Without a Safety Net." In the workshop After Kyoto, What's Next? Policy and Moral Considerations. Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs, San Diego State University. May 3, 2012.
"Climate Ethics after Durban: Entering the Decade of Climate Finance." Weston Roundtable Series, The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. University of Wisconsin, Madison. April 26, 2012.
"Climate Change and the Causal Argument for Development Adaptation." In the workshop Ethics and Adaptation: Environmental Ethics and Policy When the Future Does Not Resemble the Past." SUNY Buffalo. March 10, 2012.
"The Death of Restoration?" Keynote address for the conference Ecological Restoration: Challenges and Benefits. Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, Missouri. February 23, 2012.
Panel. "From Philosophical Training to Professional Blogging: A Discussion with Andrew Light, David Roberts and Matthew Yglesais." American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C. December 28, 2011.
"Mobilizing International Climate Finance." In the Global Climate Network side event, 17th meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Durban, South Africa. December 5, 2011.
"Finding a Future for Climate Ethics." Environmental Humanities Project. Stanford University. October 31, 2011. [Video available soon]
"A Conversation between Andrew Light and Johnathan Moreno on Moreno's new book The Body Politic: The Battle Over Science in America." Center for American Progress. October 21, 2011. [Video]
"'Use It or Lose It': A Governance Proposal for Geoengineering" (keynote address). In the workshop Ethical Issues in Engineering Biological and Ecological Systems. Northeastern University, Boston. October 1, 2011.
"Sustainable Climate Ethics -- Moving from Mitigation to International Finance." Environmental Studies Colloquium. University of Colorado at Boulder. September 7, 2011. [Video available soon]
"Building on the Building Blocks: Possibilities and Pitfalls on the Road to Durban." In the workshop Designing Just Institutions for Global Climate Governance. Australia National University, Canberra. June 30, 2011.
"Should We Intentionally Create Novel Ecosystems in Response to Climate Change?" Novel Ecosystems Workshop. Pendar Island, Victoria (University of Victoria). May 23-26, 2011.
"International Climate Ethics in a Time of Uncertain Climate Policy." Boston Colloquium on the Philosophy of Science. Boston University. April 15, 2011. [Video]
"How to Risk a Culture War: Deep Disagreements from Biotechnology to Synthetic Biology." Press Release. Department of Philosophy, Denison University. April 8, 2011.
"American Climate Politics: Threat or Role Model." Cogito Green Foundation. Stockholm, Sweden. March 9, 2011. [Video]
"American Perspectives on Global Climate Talks." Announcement. University of Lund, Sweden. March 11, 2011.
"U.S. Climate Policy on the Road to Cancun." Singapore International Energy Week. November 2, 2011.
"Getting Ahead of the Curve: Responsible Governance for Geoengineering." In the workshop The Ethics of Geoengineering: Investigating the Challenges of Solar Radiation Management. University of Montana, Missoula. October 18-30, 2010. [Video interview] [Video of plenary The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management]