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Changing Strategies to Save Nature

Emma MarrisUC San Diego Institute for Practical Ethics speaker series brings environmental writer Emma Marris to campus during Earth Month celebrations

During UC San Diego official Earth Month celebrations, the university’s Institute for Practical Ethics welcomed environmental journalist and author Emma Marris for a unique and optimistic talk — one where “rewilding” is a reality, assisted migration is possible and the romantic notion of pristine wilderness is tossed out.

Marris is the author of “Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World” and gave  the second keynote address in what is a yearly series for the institute, this year held Wednesday, April 24, 2019

“Bringing guest speakers to campus is an important way for the Institute for Practical Ethics to introduce to the community new and groundbreaking ideas about ethics and science that matter to society,” said Craig Callender, co-director of the institute. Callender uses Marris’ “Rambunctious Garden” in his undergraduate course “Philosophy and the Environment,” and Marris will answer questions prepared by this quarter’s students after her public talk.

“Marris’ insights are provocative, challenging the way most of us think about environmental conservation, and I’m sure she will be well received both by students and the greater San Diego community,” he said.

The Future of Nature

Conservation in the Anthropocene with Institute for Practical Ethics guest speaker Emma Marris, produced by University of California Television

Should We Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth?

At Shapiro talkAs scientists get closer and closer to being able to bring extinct animals back to life, big questions emerge. What led to extinction in the first place? What would be the impacts on other species or the environment? Just because we can do it, does that mean we should?

To help answer these questions and celebrate the inaugural year of the UC San Diego Institute for Practical Ethics, guest speaker Beth Shapiro, a world-renowned professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, spoke to a packed house of researchers and students from across campus and the greater community on April 19, 2018.

Organized by the Institute for Practical Ethics — with the overall purpose of promoting research and multi-disciplinary discussion about the ethics of science, technology and medicine—co-directors John Evans and Craig Callender said having Shapiro as their guest speaker was the perfect example of the mission and impact of the institute.

Shapiro said there will “probably” be an elephant born one day that has some form of mammoth DNA.

“But isn’t it great,” she said, “that we can have all of these conversations — talk about what we should do and could do, and how to regulate it, and who should own it … and what our moral authority is to do any of this — before that technology exists? And that’s why institutes like this have such an amazing place in society today.”

Watch the full presentation, produced by University of California Television.


Updated May 19, 2019