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Sheila Jasanoff on "An Elegy for the Earth: Environmental Values in a Post-faith Age"

Public Keynote (Enhance ITN Final Event)

20.10.2018 11:30  – 13:00 

Not so long ago, humanity found reason to celebrate and protect nature as the work of divine creation, not to be spoiled or desecrated by human hands. The Romantics deplored the excesses of industrialism, and even the environmentalists of the mid-twentieth century agreed that economic interests should not take precedence over the existential rights of other natural things. The new science of the Anthropocene may be seen, at one level, as the ultimate sanction for destroying nature—after all, the Earth as we know is but another product of human activity.

From this standpoint, there is little reason for not weakening protections for endangered species, and even risking the climate itself, on theories ranging from “the fittest will survive” to “technology will emerge on demand to fix problems that need fixing.”

Professor Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University) will address this issue and the following questions in her public keynote: Where can we turn for ethical warrants to preserve, protect, or restore a sense of harmony with nature? Does it mean turning the clock back on science and industry, or are there secular imaginaries that can connect past and future in more creative ways? In exploring these questions, she will draw on texts from law, literature, and environmental writings.

This public keynote is part of the ENHANCE-ITN Final Event "(Um)Weltschmerz. An Exercise in Humility and Melancholia," which is convened by ENHANCE Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network and cosponsored by the Rachel Carson Center and the Deutsches Museum.

Please sign up for free in advance here.