Human Origins and Humanity's Future: Past, Present and Future of the Anthropocene

Event Date (Pacific Time): 
Saturday, Mar 5, 2022 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
Event Chairs:

Leslie Aiello, University College London
Charles Kennel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of Cambridge

CARTA public symposia typically begin by emphasizing that the primary goal of Anthropogeny is to explore and understand where we humans came from, and how we got here. Consequently, we usually limit discussion of current day implications, and the question of where we are going as a species. This time we will focus on the long and short-term impact of humans on the planet that we inhabit, and the consequences for the future of our species. This also gives us the opportunity to celebrate the memory of the late Paul Crutzen, who coined the term “Anthropocene”. It is relevant to ask how a single species evolved the capacity to completely alter the surface of an entire planet and dominate its governing environmental and ecological processes. This symposium will bring together experts regarding human impact on the planet and also address the current and future implications for our species.

Event Sessions

Media for each talk can be played by clicking on icons in the "Media" column, or by clicking on the individual talk titles below and then the attachment file at the bottom of the page.

Media Session Speakers
File Welcome & Opening Remarks Fred Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Charles Kennel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of Cambridge
File Honoring Paul Crutzen, A Personal Appreciation Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
File How Humans Evolved the Capacity to Change the Entire Planet Leslie Aiello, University College London
File The Domestication of Crops and the Anthropocene Michael Purugganan, New York University
File Ants and the Anthropocene Mark Moffett, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History
File The Coming Crisis of the Anthropocene Charles Kennel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of Cambridge
File The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Vanessa Ezenwa, Yale University
File The Oceans and the Anthropocene Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History
File We Alone: How Humans Have Conquered the Planet and Can Also Save It David Western, African Conservation Center, Nairobi, Kenya
File Potential Utopian and Dystopian Futures Martin Rees, University of Cambridge
File Question & Answer Session and Closing Remarks All Speakers
Margaret Schoeninger, University of California, San Diego

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Event Glossary

A glossary for this event is available as a Searchable List and a PDF icon PDF.