Emeritus Professor Libby Robin

PhD, BA (Hons), BSc, Dip Ed.
Senior Fellow
ANU College of Science

Professor Libby Robin FAHA is an historian of science and environmental ideas. She is Emeritus Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University.

Career highlights include Guest Professor at  the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm in the Division of History of Science and Technology (2011-2014; affiliated professor 2015-2017) and Senior Fellow in the National Museum of Australia's Reseach Centre (2007-2015).

Libby has published widely in the history of science, international and comparative environmental history and the ecological humanities. She has won national and international prizes in History (How a Continent Created a Nation), in Zoology (Boom and Bust), and in literature (Flight of the EmuThe Future of Nature).

She was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2013.

Research interests

General themes: Environmental humanities, Conservation history and policy; Interdisciplinary environmental studies; The scientific aesthetic; Climate Change and the humanities; History of Ornithology in Australia; History of Science in Australia and the region

New Books:

2017      Lukasiewicz, Anna, Stephen Dovers, Libby Robin, Jennifer McKay, Steven Schilizzi and Sonia Graham (eds.) Natural Resources and Environmental Justice: Australian Perspectives, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. 284pp.

2017      Newell, Jennifer, Libby Robin and Kirsten Wehner eds. Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change (Routledge Environmental Humanities), Abingdon, UK, Routledge, 2017. 298pp.

In Press Warde, Paul, Libby Robin and Sverker Sörlin The Environment: A History of the Idea Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore MD  https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/environment 


Environmental Humanities

Co-convenor of Australian Environmental Humanities Hub www.aehhub.org

Key paper: Robin, Libby ‘Environmental humanities and climate change: Understanding humans geologically and other life forms ethically’, WIREs Climate Change 2017 e499, doi: 10.1002/wcc.499


Expertise for the Future

 Histories of environmental prediction and policy (2011-2018) Libby Robin (ANU), Sverker Sörlin (Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Stockholm) and Paul Warde (Cambridge) (project leaders) Outcomes include The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change (2013, Yale UP) (Winner Best Anthology at New England Book Fair, USA) Website: http://www.histecon.magd.cam.ac.uk/ees/expertise_future.html

Related website: https://expertspastpresentfuture.net/the-environment-and-its-evolution-a...

Also contribution to Past Futures: Experts Development and Sustainability (eds Rivera, Sum and Trentmann; Oekom)


December 14-16 2016 Environment, Society, and the Making of the Modern World The history and legacy of the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm,  June 1972 Paper "Stockholm in Australia"

IASS Potsdam 28-29 April 2016 Futures Past: Experts, Development and Sustainability  Paper: Experts past and future:The Environment, Integrated Global Change Science and the Anthropocene

Biological invasions and national identity ARC grant The Culture of Weeds LP120400273.

Book in prep: Thinking with Nature

Museums in the Anthropocene

Jennifer Newell, Libby Robin and Kirsten Wehner (eds) Curating the Future: Museums Communities and Climate Change Routledge Environmental Humanities, London: 2017

Libby Robin, 'Anthropocene Cabinets of Curiosity: Objects of Strange Change' in Future Remains:  A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene (eds. Gregg Mitman et al) (University of Chicago Press, 2018) pp. 205--18

Understanding Australia in The Age of Humans: Localising the Anthropocene ARC Grant DP 160102648 (2016-2018) (with Iain McCalman University of Sydney, Kirsten Wehner, Jennifer Newell,  and others)

The Anthropocene in Museums: Workshop Deutsches Museum Munich 3-4 December 2015 http://www.carsoncenter.uni-muenchen.de/events_conf_seminars/calendar/ws_anthropocene-in-museums/index.html

History of  Science 

Key recent publications:

Robin, Libby with Stephen Boyden (2018), ‘Telling the Bionarrative: A Museum of Environmental Ideas’, Historical Records of Australian Science 29(2) pp A-O https://doi.org/10.1071/HR18007 Published online: 14 June 2018 (15pp)

Robin, Libby with Max Day, ‘Changing Ideas about the Environment in Australia: Learning from Stockholm’. Historical Records of Australian Science 28(1): 37—49. doi.org/10.1071/HR17004

Maroske, Sara, Libby Robin, and Gavan McCarthy, ‘Building the History of Australian Science: Five Projects of Professor R. W. Home (1980-present)’ Historical Records of Australian Science 28(1): 1—11. doi.org/10.1071/HR16018

Special Issue: Desert Science (eds Libby Robin, Steve Morton and Mike Smith) Historical Records of Australian Science 25(2) 2014: http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/109/issue/7244.htm



Environmental Humanities Hub (Co-convenor with Thom van Dooren USyd) www.aehhub.org