Major research award for Leuphana professor Abson

2023-01-31 European Research Council (ERC) funds cutting-edge research

Lüneburg. Dr. David Abson, Junior Professor of Sustainability Economics and Assessment at Leuphana University Lüneburg, has been awarded one of the coveted ERC Consolidator Grants. The European Research Council (ERC) is thus funding his outstanding and forward-looking scientific work with around two million euros over the next five years. Abson's research addresses the problem that global production and consumption patterns are fundamentally unsustainable, threatening important processes on our planet that are essential for maintaining ecological functioning and the long-term survival of humanity.

The scientist's chosen research approach is novel. He pursues the concept of socio-ecological sufficiency, that is, ensuring a socially satisfactory standard of living while using natural resources in an ecologically sustainable manner. At issue is the question of how much economic activity is really necessary in the face of global ecological overload.

Abson intends to explore the topic with an interdisciplinary team of scientists and practitioners. The work program envisages looking at both the global and national levels, down to individual households. Germany will be a case study in the research. The research program is also innovative in terms of its methodology, aiming to fill crucial knowledge gaps and inform society about what constitutes sustainable consumption choices.

David Abson is very excited about the funding commitment, which launches a new phase of his academic research, "I believe that the concept of sufficiency, what it means to have 'enough,' is an extremely important and so far under-researched idea in the sustainability discussion. I hope that this project can help make the concept of sufficiency more tangible for people who want to live sustainably and better understand the social and environmental impacts of their consumption choices."

About David Abson:
David Abson has been working in research and teaching on sustainability at Leuphana University Lüneburg since 2017. On several occasions, he has been among the world's most cited researchers in his research field, according to Clarivate Analytics' "Highly Cited Researchers" report.

Further information:

The European Research Council Consolidator Grant is one of the most important research awards in the world. It supports innovative basic and pioneering research. A total of more than 300 of these awards were recently granted, 62 of them to Germany. The selection process is rigorous: To be successful, applicants must present an excellent research proposal and have already made very promising research achievements. More than 2,000 applications were submitted throughout Europe. The approval rate is less than 15 percent.

With the current success, scientists at Leuphana have once again succeeded in the competition for the European Research Council's Excellence Funding: Prof. Dr. Benjamin Klusemann was most recently successful with a Consolidator Grant. Prof. Dr. Stephan Scheel, who was appointed to Leuphana last year, is now starting a project funded by an ERC Starting Grant. Currently, there are three ongoing ERC-funded projects by Leuphana scientists.