[PCA] Invitation to 10.9.14 "Living in the Anthropocene" Symposium in Washington DC

Krupnick, Gary KRUPNICK at si.edu
Mon Sep 15 13:37:35 CDT 2014

The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome but space is limited. Please RSVP to Consortia at si.edu<mailto:Consortia at si.edu> to receive a ticket. Event details are available at www.si.edu/consortia<http://www.si.edu/consortia>.

Living in the Anthropocene: Prospects for Climate, Economics, Health, and Security

A one-day symposium sponsored by the Smithsonian's Grand Challenges Consortia

9 October 2014
9:15 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. with a reception to follow
Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History
10th St. & Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Humans are transforming the climate and environments of the Earth at an accelerating rate through agriculture, urbanization, transportation, the use of fossil fuels, and many other activities. Our global imprint, and the certainty that more than seven billion people will profoundly change the environment and biota of the planet for many generations to come, have led many scientists to recognize a new period of geological time called the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans. Restoring Anthropocene environments to pre-industrial conditions may be impossible, but the future need not be apocalyptic if we act soon. To make a livable Anthropocene, we must use our scientific knowledge to forecast environmental change and develop more resilient societies and cultural institutions that can adapt to the changes we can no longer avoid. This symposium features the views of leaders in the fields of climate, health, economics, and security who will consider the problems we face and offer possible solutions. Following each talk, a panel of Smithsonian scholars and thinkers will discuss the issues raised by the presentation.

The four Smithsonian Grand Challenges, which bridge the Institution's scientific and scholarly pursuits, are ideally suited to host a discussion of this breadth. The global changes now taking place cross-cut all of the themes of the Grand Challenges from Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe, with a broad perspective on alterations in the atmosphere and landscapes of the Earth, to Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet, which investigates the past, present, and future of climate change effects on the natural world, to Valuing World Cultures and Understanding the American Experience, in which transformations in human history, culture, and art are spotlighted across civilizations.  Each of these Grand Challenges can learn from and inform the others with respect to the massive alterations that our civilization is experiencing today and will continue to experience into the foreseeable future. Only through such discourse and debate will we be able to understand the scope of the challenges and determine the solutions demanded by the Anthropocene.

Speakers include:

James J. Hack - Director, National Center for Computational Science at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; provides high performance computing resources for tackling scientific grand challenges

Rachel Kyte - Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, The World Bank

George Luber - Epidemiologist, Associate Director for Climate Change in the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Admiral Thad Allen - Executive Vice President, Booz | Allen | Hamilton; formerly 23rd Commandant of the United States Coast Guard and National Incident Coordinator for the federal response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Thomas L. Friedman - Award winning author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times

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