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Institute Supports “Mass Extinction” Workshop

By Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute on March 23, 2012
Participants in the Mass Extinction Workshop

Participants examined the temporal (geology), spatial (ecology), and ethical (philosophy) cross-scale processes that are currently eroding ecosystem resiliency.

During a three-day-long workshop generously supported in part by the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute, seven natural scientists and five philosophers discussed at length how the accelerated extinction that is currently underway would likely unfold as ecosystems systematically lose resiliency and destabilize into degraded social-ecological states.

Specifically, participants examined the temporal (geology), spatial (ecology), and ethical (philosophy) cross-scale processes that not only are currently eroding ecosystem resiliency at an unprecedented rate, but also will accelerate during the forthcoming centuries. The intention was to initiate cross-disciplinary discourse among paleontologists, ecologists, and ethicists about the intricacies of mass extinction and plausible mitigation strategies and policy recommendations that will minimize the loss of co-evolutionary potential of the geologic future.

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