Sydney Ideas - Biodiversity and Extinction


Event Date
06/19/2019 - 18:00 - 06/19/2019 - 19:30 Australia/Sydney


Ticket Price Amount

How can the humanities and social sciences help us to respond to the biodiversity crisis in a more just way, which transforms how we protect the foundations of life on our planet?

More than a million species worldwide face extinction, according to a landmark recent report on biodiversity and extinction by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries, the report is the most comprehensive of its kind and assesses changes over the last five decades. It concludes that humans’ interaction with our world is eroding the foundations of life at an alarming rate, through our:

  • domination of land and oceans across the planet
  • dumping pollutants into the earth and waterways
  • destruction of forests and other habitats
  • exploitation of other species.

Transformative action though, is not only about new and better science. We need to reimagine how we understand ourselves, the beings with whom we share the planet and our relationships. It is about the stories we tell, the art we produce, the way that we live, and reconceiving fundamental concepts such as justice and value.

Increasingly scholars in the humanities and social scientists – working alongside artists and activists – are recognising the critical role that they play in bringing about these transformations.

At this Sydney Ideas event, a panel of experts in these disciplines will reflect on how we can powerfully represent and recast the reality and the meaning of species loss and cultural loss, and what we can do and are doing to transform ourselves and our world.

The speakers

  • Professor Marisol de la Cadena, University of California
  • Ravi Agarwal, independent artist
  • Associate Professor Thom van Dooren, University of Sydney
  • Dr Sophie Chao, University of Sydney
  • Chair: Professor Danielle Celermajer, University of Sydney


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Lead image credit: Photo by Yoel Kamara on Unsplash



SSB Lecture Theatre 200 Social Sciences Building
Science Rd
2050 NSW