Announcing a Symposium to be held at The New York Botanical Garden-Humanities Institute on March 9, 2017

Vanessa  Sellers's picture
March 9, 2017
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Political History / Studies, Urban History / Studies


A Symposium presented by the Humanities Institute in collaboration with the Center for Science and Society of Columbia University

Date:    THURSDAY, MARCH 9; 10 A.M.  

Place:   ARTHUR AND JANET ROSS HALL,  The New York Botanical Garden

Threshold: Biodiversity, Climate, and Humanity at a Crossroads:

Humanity has reached a crossroads in the effort to combat climate change and protect biodiversity. As Earth’s temperature rises closer to the danger limit set forth by scientists and world leaders in the Paris Agreement, so does the risk of a range of truly catastrophic events, including extreme weather, rising sea levels, and mass extinctions. How have we come so close to such a critical threshold? How can we stop ourselves from crossing it? In Threshold, three renowned scholars will discuss the implications of the climate crisis for the future of life on Earth. By exploring the variety of scientific, cultural and political relationships between humanity and biodiversity over time, these experts will address the elements needed to respond to the most daunting challenge in human history. Threshold will conclude with a panel discussion and questions from the audience on the prospects for a new environmental ethic for the 21st century.


Shahid Naeem, Professor of Ecology and Director of Science at the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability, Columbia University, New York: “Sustainability in an Age of Mass Extinction and Isolationism.”

Ursula K. Heise, the Marcia H. Howard Chair in Literary Studies, Department of English | Institute of the Environment and Sustainability: “Where the Wild Things Used To Be: Narrative, Biodiversity, and Dystopia.”

John Nagle, the John N. Matthews Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana: "The Inimitable Endangered Species Act."


Register now at




Contact Info: 

Vanessa Bezemer Sellers

Humanities Research Coordinator

Humanities Institute

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd.

Bronx, New York, 10458-5126

718 817 8868

Contact Email: