The Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont has created the Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics to celebrate the best writing on the environmental limits of our finite planet.
The prize is supported by a growing endowment, established with generous contributions by family, friends and colleagues of Zencey, a pioneering scholar in ecological economics, a field that explores the relationships between economics and our planet’s limited natural resources.
[Friends and colleagues seeking to support the Eric Zencey Prize can make donations and pledges online.]
“My sincere hope is that this Prize will help nudge our civilization onto a better path—one that arrives purposefully at an ecologically sustainable relationship between society and nature,” says Eric Zencey. “It’s important to me that the ideas we foster here in the Academy get to work in the world. I hope this prize will inspire future generations of environmental writers and ecological economists to communicate real-world solutions beyond ‘the Ivory Tower.’”
Valued at $4,000 USD, the Eric Zencey Prize will be awarded every two years to the best English-language current affairs book or work of long-form journalism that advances public understanding of ecological economics’ principles by using them as an explanatory lens on current affairs. The Gund Institute and the United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) will partner to solicit nominations and select the inaugural recipient by 2020.
“This is an excellent legacy for Eric, and an important new prize for the field of Ecological Economics,” says Taylor Ricketts, Director, Gund Institute for Environment. “We thank the Zencey family for their vision and generosity.”
Born in Delaware, and holding a PhD in political philosophy and the history of science, Eric Zencey is a writer, teacher, and public intellectual who has made substantial contributions to understanding the biophysical foundations of the economy. At the University of Vermont and Washington University of St. Louis, he has worked to bring ecological economics outside the academy to understand and address the political, economic, social, and environmental challenges facing society.
Zencey is author of four books, including The Other Road to Serfdom and the Path to Sustainable Democracy and (with Elizabeth Courtney) Greening Vermont: Towards a Sustainable State. His first book was the internationally best-selling novel and New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Panama. His writing has appeared in media outlets ranging from The New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education to Adbusters. He has been a featured contributor to The Daly News, which honors the work of steady-state economist Herman Daly. Zencey has received Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller-Bellagio Foundation, and the Bogliasco Foundation.
In Vermont and Missouri, Zencey has been a pioneer in the compilation of and advocacy for the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a more comprehensive measure of economic, social and environmental health than GDP. His efforts led directly to Vermont becoming one of the first states in the nation to adopt GPI measurement.
Zencey’s affiliations at UVM include the Gund Institute, the Political Science Dept., the Honors College, the Center for Research on Vermont, and the Center for Rural Studies. At Washington University, his appointments include teaching and research positions in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Sam Fox School for Design and Visual Art.
ABOUT THE GUND INSTITUTE
The Gund Institute for Environment catalyzes environmental research, develops real-world solutions to global issues, and connects with leaders in government, business and beyond. Based at the University of Vermont, the Institute has 150 faculty, global affiliates, graduate students and post-docs who focus on environmental issues at the interface of four pressing themes: climate solutions, health and well-being, sustainable agriculture, and resilient communities.