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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Seminar - Observation and evidence in the Anthropocene

19th October 2015, 13:00 to 14:00, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green, Professor Heike Egner (Alpen-Adria-University in Klagenfurt, Austria)

Since the Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen almost incidentally declared our present times to be the new era of the Anthropocene at a UN-conference in Mexico in 2000, an intensive debate has emerged on the plausibility of this statement and on the evidence the era of the Anthropocene could be based on. The hypothesis of the Anthropocene implies a concept fundamentally different from many precursors: It is assumed that humans and their societies do not have a symbiotic relationship with nature but rather modify and transform natural processes. If we take this seriously, a fundamental revision of almost every concept of the interrelation between humans and nature, but also of our concept of ourselves as humans, as well as our responsibilities as scientists would be necessary.

In this seminar, Professor Heike Egner would like to discuss scientific practices of gathering evidence (observation) and the structure of the arguments behind the evidence (causation).

Fellows' seminars take place on Monday lunchtimes in the seminar room at Cosin's Hall.

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues interested in attending a seminar should contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

The aim of these seminars is to develop new thinking on the big issues that are of current concern/interest for the Fellows . Each Fellow is asked to present a core idea that informs their current work, or a problem that they are tackling, that could benefit from cross-disciplinary thinking. These seminars are informal and designed to encourage discussion.

Contact for more information about this event.