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5th CRIAS workshop: Climate in History

Aeschi bei Spiez, Switzerland
Contact person
Heli Huhtamaa
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category


Date: 17-20 August 2023
Location: Aeschi bei Spiez, Switzerland
Venue: Aeschi Park, Aeschi bei Spiez


Historians have much to contribute to paleosciences, especially to the study of past climatic changes. Written records, for example, offer invaluable climate data for high-resolution reconstructions. Similarly, the interaction between humanity and past environments can help us better understand the complexity of climate-society entanglements on various temporal scales – ranging from rapid environmental degradation to multi-centennial dynamics of societal adaptation and resilience. 

However, few historians include climatic aspects in their research or teaching. At the same time, the next generation of historians are increasingly interested in incorporating the role of climate into their investigations. The majority of these early-career historians have not received the required training nor supervision, for example, on how to critically analyse and incorporate climatic data into their research. This is problematic. 

Unfortunately, integrating unsuitable or irrelevant climatic data can obstruct the otherwise significant findings of young scholars. This, in turn, may hamper the long-term progress of further intertwining humanities and physical sciences in climate change research. 

Consequently, there is an urgent need to find solutions how we can improve university-level teaching and supervision on past climatic changes among postgraduate and early-career historians.

About the workshop

Instead of relying solely on expert opinions, we want to tackle this challenge with a bottom-up approach. Thus, we reached out beyond our CRIAS community, and opened a call for ECRs who are investigating the role of climate on past societies, but who have no prior knowledge on climate science or working with climate data. 

The main goals of the workshop are:

1) Identify the main challenges that early-career historians face when starting to work with climate data.
2) Find solutions to overcome these.
3) Propose recommendations for including climatic aspects in the training and supervision of future historians.

Key speakers/participants

Elaine Lin (National Taiwan Normal University, TW)
Andrea Seim (University of Freiburg, DE)
Elena Xoplaki (University of Giessen, DE)

In addition, Sam White (University of Helsinki, FI), Christian Rohr and Stefan Brönnimann (both University of Bern, CH) will provide keynotes as CRIAS representatives.

Who is the workshop for?

The main body of participants consists of early-career scholars from abroad and from Switzerland.

More information

For further details, visit the website here:
or contact Heli Huhtamaa via email:


PAGES does not tolerate any sort of discrimination or harassment at workshops, and is committed to an open and welcoming environment for all. 

If you feel uncomfortable during the workshop for any reason, you can contact the following people:

Heli Huhtamaa (F):
Niklaus Bartlome (M):