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Science History Podcast

Feb 11, 2022

Nothing is so intertwined with human success and folly as economics. The economy, for better or for worse, drives much of our fate from our household budget to our national policies to the outbreak of war. But economic activity also has profound effects on the environment and a close inspection of economics opens the question of whether humans can live sustainably on the only planet we have. The field of economics that focuses on sustainability and the environmental costs of economic activity is ecological economics. With us to discuss this field is one of its founders, Herman Daly. Herman received a B.A. in economics from Rice University in 1960 and a PhD in from Vanderbilt University in 1967. He was a professor of economics at Louisiana State University until 1988, and then served as senior economist in the environment department of the World Bank until 1994. He then joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in the School of Public Affairs. Herman is the author of over 100 articles in professional journals, as well as many books, including: Toward a Steady-State Economy (1973), Steady-State Economics (1977), Valuing the Earth (1993), Beyond Growth (1996), Ecological Economics and the Ecology of Economics (1999), Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications (2004), and Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development (2007). He is co-author with theologian John B. Cobb, Jr. of the award-winning book, For the Common Good (1989). He also co-founded the journal Ecological Economics and the International Society of Ecological Economics. Herman has received too many awards to list here, but they include Sweden’s Honorary Right Livelihood Award, the Heineken Prize for Environmental Science from the Netherlands, the Sophie Prize for Environment and Development from Norway, the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council for Science and the Environment, and the Blue Planet Prize.