Biological Extinction Workshop at the Vatican

27 February 2017

Sir Partha Dasgupta, Chair of CSER, is one of the organisers of the Vatican workshop on Biological Extinction. He is presenting on the workshop’s ‘Goals and Objectives’ and the ‘Summary and Conclusions’. He is also speaking about Why We Are in the Sixth Extinction and What It Means to Humanity, while our co-founder Lord Martin Rees is speaking about ‘Extinction: What it Means to Us’.

This workshop follows a previous Vatican workshop and report, 2014’s Sustainable Humanity Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility, with which Sir Partha and Lord Rees were heavily involved.

The Guardian article about the 2017 workshop (Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century) quotes Sir Partha Dasgupta as saying:

“We need to unravel the processes that led to the ills we are now facing. That is why the Vatican symposia involve natural and social scientists, as well as scholars from the humanities. That the symposia are being held at the Papal Academy is also symbolic. It shows that the ancient hostility between science and the church, at least on the issue of preserving Earth’s services, has been quelled.”

The crucial point is to put the problem of biological extinctions in a social context, he said. “That gives us a far better opportunity of working out what we need to in the near future. We have to act quickly, however.”

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