Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

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Noosphere—Ecosphere—Semiosphere: Explorations into Environmental Thoughts



Location: Rachel Carson Center

Conveners: Julia Lajus and Julia Herzberg

This workshop, organized by Julia Lajus and Julia Herzberg in cooperation with the RCC, concerns the current interest in conceptualizing the ongoing geological period of the history of Earth. The Anthropocene demands a deeper look into the predecessors of such thinking, and the Russian-Ukrainian and Soviet geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky, who named humankind “a geological force,” is undoubtedly among them. This workshop intends to locate, quite contradictorily, Vernadsky’s legacy into a broader context of ecological thought in Russia and beyond with a particular focus on his ideas on Noosphere as a new state of biosphere, “a sphere of reason.” Unpacking the concept, comparing it to related research, and discussing the possible causes of the weak state of planetary thinking in contemporary Russia make the workshop relevant to the current debate on environmental governance and governance in general.

The workshop is open to all attendees.