Lunch lecture: Is Science Enough?

Exploring the relationship of science and religion in addressing sustainable development.

In a world where science is the dominant intellectual paradigm, is there still a place for religion, which has a deservedly bad reputation? There are many questions of ethics and human purpose that science cannot answer. Can we conceive of a rational approach to religion that is the complement of science? The great challenges ahead such as the Sustainable Development Goals call for a motivation to act that goes beyond what science alone can provide.

Organised by Impulse

Mon 21 March 2016 12:30 to 13:30

Venue Impulse, gebouwnummer 115

Arthur Dahl is President of the International Environment Forum, and a retired Deputy Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with 45 years' experience in sustainable development. He has recently been consultant to the World Bank on indicators of development, Senior Advisor to a project on values-based indicators of education for sustainable development, and Co-coordinator of the UNEP Major Groups & Stakeholders Advisory Group on International Environmental Governance. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton (UK) and an international consultant on indicators of sustainability, environmental assessment and observing strategies, coral reefs, biodiversity, islands, environmental education, and social and economic development. A specialist on coral reefs and small island developing States (SIDS), he spent many years in the South Pacific and organized the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. He is also interested in the relationship between science and values, and has participated in many conferences on ecology, ethics and spirituality. He represented the Baha'i International Community at the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, was in the secretariat for the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and participated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002) and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. He teaches in various university programmes, lectures widely, and has published many scientific papers and books including: "Island Directory", "Unless and Until: A Baha'i Focus on the Environment" and "The Eco Principle: Ecology and Economics in Symbiosis".

Arthur Dahl is in The Netherlands for a conference and has been invited by members of the IEF to give a lecture at Wageningen University.


  • Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen (Associate professor Public Administration and Policy group)
  • Lisa Castricum (Student Environmental Sciences)
  • Bas Allema (PhD Alumni PE&RC)