Events

The Anthropocene: Planet Earth in the Age of Humans


October 11, 2012
9:15 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Baird Auditorium
National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC

The Smithsonian Institution’s Grand Challenges Consortia are hosting a symposium on October 11, 2012 to address the tremendous scope of transformations now occurring on the Earth with profound effects on plants, animals, and natural habitats. Geologists have proposed the term Anthropocene, or “Age of Man”, for this new period in the history of the planet. The symposium will focus on the arrival and impact of this new era through the lenses of science, history, art, culture, philosophy, and economics, and will promote discussion, debate, and deliberation on these issues of change.

Speakers will include Charles C. Mann, journalist and author of 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created; Sabine O’Hara, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, & Environmental Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia; Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University; and photographer and filmmaker Chris Jordan. Each of these presentations will be followed by responses from an interdisciplinary panel of scholars that will foster a wide-ranging discussion of the issues. A summation of the day’s discussion will be provided by The Honorable Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, former Congressman and Senator from Colorado.

The symposium will be open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP by October 1st to (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with attendee name and affiliation to receive your ticket. A schedule of talks, abstracts, and biosketches will be made available for download in advance of the event. A limited number will be available at the event.

Guests must use the Constitution Ave. entrance to the museum. Seating in the auditorium will not be assigned. Admission is free and guests will need to check in with museum security. The museum has various dining options. The nearest Metro stop to the Constitution Ave. entrance is the Archives station (Yellow, Green lines). The Smithsonian station’s Mall exit is on the Madison Ave. side of the museum (Blue, Orange lines). For information on bus lines with stops near the museum, please visit WMATA or DC Circulator. Parking is limited to on-street spaces (posted times are enforced) and local garages.