The World of the Born and the World of the Made: A New Vision of Our Emerald Planet

2018 Terry Lectures by Thomas E. Lovejoy

October 25, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. | Under a Desert Sky
October 30, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. | Fragmenting Creation
November 1, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. | Climate Change and Regreening the Emerald Planet

Yale University
Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall
195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT, USA

In his 2018 Terry Lectures, Professor Lovejoy draws on the science of environmental challenges and solutions, and explores the importance of values and their potential application to solving environmental challenges and solutions.

In his first lecture, “Under a Desert Sky,” Professor Lovejoy explores the complexity of the relationship between people and the environment. Science illuminates the various ways in which we affect the environment, he says, and science can help us consider which ways might be more or less desirable. He explains the gift of blue-green bacteria, and asks “Are planetary boundaries real? And can they inform us about possible choices?” There are multiple ways in which nature nurtures humanity, he concludes, but are there ways—beyond the utilitarian—to value and consequently respect nature?

In his second lecture, “Fragmenting Creation,” Professor Lovejoy tells the story of how science eventually tumbled into recognition of the conservation importance of habitat fragmentation. He explores how natural connections can be restored in landscapes. And turns to questions of values: “Can we advance from thinking of nature as small patches isolated in human-dominated landscapes to an outlook where human aspiration is imbedded in nature? Can we adequately feed additional billions of people without obliterating most of wild nature? What is the role of human settlements?’

In his third and final lecture, “Climate Change and Regreening the Emerald Planet,” Professor Lovejoy speaks of the challenge of climate change, and asks: “How is it affecting the Emerald Planet? How much might be ‘too much’? Is the sixth extinction at hand? How can ecosystem restoration help us address climate change? How might ecosystem restoration change our perception of how our planet works. And how might it best nurture human aspiration?” He ends by asking: “What is the role of awe?”

Thomas Lovejoy is a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation, based in Washington, DC. Lovejoy has served on science and environmental councils under the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations and was also the World Bank’s chief biodiversity advisor and lead specialist for environment for Latin America and the Caribbean. Lovejoy holds Bachelor of Science and PhD in biology from Yale University.

Contact: Andrew Forsyth, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Free and open to the public. Receptions to follow.

The lectures will be recorded and posted online after the event.