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Panacea Museum

9 Newnham Road

Bedford

MK40 3NX

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Climate & Apocalypse Symposium

Day 2 of 2

June 30, 2017

Inside the Big Top at the Panacea Charitable Trust gardens, Bedford, United Kingdom

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

David Livingstone, Queens University Belfast
Michael Ruse, Florida State University

Climate change is arguably the most serious threat to humanity that we face—a real phenomenon which could change our planet forever and visit upon us weather changes and events of biblical proportions. So why do we largely ignore it by living in a numbed state of perpetual cognitive dissonance?

As many despair in the absence of any real leadership or political will to instigate required changes what can be done? It is little wonder that psychological effects such as eco anxiety and climate depression are becoming more commonplace.

This symposium seeks to explore how creative and often misunderstood apocalyptic philosophy can make sense of, and is present in, our contemporary reality; and how it can interpret how we got here and what can be done.


Keynote Speakers


David Livingstone

David Livingstone


David Livingstone is Professor of Geography and Intellectual History at the Queen's University of Belfast where he works on the history of geographical knowledge and the historical geographies of science and religion. He is currently completing an intellectual history of climatic reductionism, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship, under the title ‘The Empire of Climate’.

He is the author of a number of books including Nathaniel Southgate Shaler and the Culture of American Science (1987), Darwin’s Forgotten Defenders (1987), The Geographical Tradition (1992), Putting Science in its Place (2003), Adam’s Ancestors: Race, Religion and the Politics of Human Origins (2008) and Dealing with Darwin: Place, Politics and Rhetoric in Religious Engagements with Evolution (2014).

He was awarded the Centenary Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1998, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in 2008, and the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 2011. He has been a Member of the Royal Irish Academy since 1998, and in 2002 was elected to the Academy of the Social Sciences and to the Academia Europaea. In 2002 he was appointed OBE. He has delivered a wide range of named lectures including the Gifford Lectures at the University of Aberdeen in 2014 and the Dudleian Lecture at Harvard University in 2015. In 2013 the University of Aberdeen conferred on him an Honorary D.Litt.

Micheal Ruse

Michael Ruse


Michael Ruse is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. He is the author or editor of over fifty books. Trained as a philosopher, he was one of the pioneers of contemporary philosophy of biology and the founding editor of the journal Biology and Philosophy, which he ran from 1985 to 2000. From 1992 to 2005 he edited the Cambridge Series in the Philosophy of Biology, and from 2005 to 2014 another series on the philosophy of biology with Cambridge University Press, aimed more at the student reader. He has also co-edited the Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology, and has the Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics forthcoming. He has co-edited two volumes with Oxford University Press on the philosophy of biology. Retooled as a historian of science, Ruse has written extensively on the history of evolutionary theory, with special emphasis on the work and influence of Charles Darwin. He has co-edited the Cambridge Companion to the Origin of Species and recently edited The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Charles Darwin and Evolutionary Thought, which won a PROSE award. He has also co-edited a volume on evolutionary theory with Harvard University Press, a volume on paleobiology with the University of Chicago Press and another on twentieth-century evolutionary biology with the American Philosophical Society.

Ruse has broader interests, having written extensively on the interface between science and religion and having appeared as an expert witness in a case in Arkansas against the teaching of biblical literalism (Creationism) in state-supported science classes. He has co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Atheism. He has written on human evolution looking at the importance not only of biology for understanding but also the social sciences including the ideas of such influential figures as Emile Durkheim and Sigmund Freud. He is also deeply interested in the connections between science and philosophy on the one hand and literature and creative thinking generally on the other hand, having for many years offered undergraduate courses on the significance of film for understanding both science and philosophy, and also increasingly has been writing on such topics. He is at the moment writing a book on the history of evolutionary theory as seen through creative writing, particularly as seen through fiction and poetry.

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9 Newnham Road

Bedford

MK40 3NX

United Kingdom

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