Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) inaugurated Dr. Suharko as a new professor of sociology on Tuesday (22/2). In his inaugural speech, Prof. Suharko talked about risk in the Anthropocene era from a sociological perspective.
According to him, sociology studies the issue of risk because the physical, spatial, and social context and environment continue to change rapidly and unpredictably, as seen from the pandemic in the last two years. Various social changes have occurred since the industrial revolution, which caused many serious impacts from human activities.
“The COVID-19 catastrophe confirms that we are actually in the Anthropocene,” said the Head of the Department of Sociology.
The risk of the emergence of this disease is in line with the increasingly intense human interaction with nature. The ease of mobility has encouraged people to travel to different parts of the world, which opens up greater opportunities for transmission and increases the risk to global public health.
The World Economic Forum/WEF (2021) survey revealed that the three most severe risks that may occur in the next ten years are the failure of climate action, extreme weather, and the loss of biodiversity caused by human behavior. Environmental and social risks will also arise from the planning and implementation of various development projects.
“Various forms of risk originating from the pandemic, climate crisis, and accelerated economic and infrastructure development are more or less caused by human intervention on nature and the environment, individually and collectively, and modern-industrial institutional mechanisms,” he explained.
In studying risk issues in the Anthropocene, Suharko continued, sociologists must engage in dialogue with experts and scientists from other disciplines to develop a collective understanding of risk as a multidimensional concept that must be studied in a multidisciplinary, even transdisciplinary manner.
He said the issue of risk served as an intersection between other issues, including vulnerability, resilience, environmental movement, environmental justice, environmental impact and governance, social protection and policy, rapid social change, as well as other prominent issues that emerge in the Anthropocene era.
“By bringing this issue into the discussion, debate, teaching, and research, we hope sociology will not only link risk to the context of a rapidly changing global society but also provide a platform for multidisciplinary dialogue for a more comprehensive understanding and knowledge production about the issue,” he explained.