SANTA FE ― The School for Advanced Research (SAR) announces its annual President’s Lecture.
This year’s lecture, The Fate of the Earth with speaker Elizabeth Kolbert, is co-presented June 1 by The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. Kolbert, staff writer at The New Yorker, is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Holt, 2014). There have been five mass extinctions over the last half a billion years.
In her book, Kolbert presents evidence for her belief that humans may be bringing about a sixth mass extinction. Among the critical questions she raises: Can we arrest this process? If we knew what to do, would we be willing to do it? What does the future look like on a biologically impoverished planet?
Extinction rates today are hundreds, perhaps thousands of times higher than they have been through most of the history of life. There are seemingly many causes for this, including climate change, habitat destruction, ocean acidification, invasive species, and poaching. But trace these back, and inevitably you arrive at the same culprit: us.
After a talk by Kolbert on the subject, she will engage in a conversation and question-and-answer session with Dr. Michael Brown, President of SAR, and Terry Sullivan, Director, The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. A cash bar reception and book signing will follow in the lobby of The Lensic Performing Arts Center.
Kolbert’s three-part series on global warming, “The Climate of Man,” won the 2006 National Magazine Award for Public Interest, the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, and the 2006 National Academies Communication Award. She received a Lannan Literary Fellowship in 2006, a Heinz Award in 2010, and the 2010 National Magazine Award for Reviews and Criticism.
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SAR thanks the following for their generous support of this President’s Lecture: Dignitary Level: John Camp and Michele Cook. Underwriter Level: Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation; Supporter Level: Inn on the Alameda; SunPower by Positive Energy Solar; The Lensic Performing Arts Center; Media Sponsors: Violet Crown Cinema, KUNM 89.9 and KSFR 101.1 Radio.