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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Nick Obradovich

Nick Obradovich

Nick Obradovich '09

Postdoctoral Fellow, Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School

Dating back to his days as a Hackworth Fellow for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Nick Obradovich ’09 has had a passion for sustainability and environmental ethics. As a fellow, Obradovich was responsible for facilitating discussions and organizing public community events for students on various topics, such as sustainability, the ethics of climate change, the ethics of biofuels and food security implications.

Looking back on his time as a fellow, Nick believes that the Ethics Center was instructive in helping him understand the intersection between moral and ethical preferences and why people act the way they do in regard to climate change. He notes that studies suggest talking about climate change as an ethical issue can be an effective approach for some, but for others it can be off-putting, depending on the political preferences of the individual.

“It’s a very interesting dilemma,” Nick says, referring to the fact that ethical conceptions of the problem are constrained by political beliefs. “The people that are already concerned about climate change you don’t need to convince, but the people you do need to convince aren’t concerned.”

Obradovich will be pursuing this and other questions about the politics of climate change in a post-doctoral fellowship program at the Belfer Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is also working part-time as a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab. Eventually he would like to attain a faculty position and continue with his research.

Obradovich did his graduate work at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He was particularly interested in further understanding the political and social implications of climate change: How do people’s political and social preferences impact the way that they approach sustainability issues?

Obradovich expresses his gratitude for the valuable relationships he made during his year with the Ethics Center. He continues to stay in regular contact with the Center’s staff to this day, and some of the research funding he received for experiments on climate change came as a result of the relationships he developed during his time as a Hackworth Fellow.