Parallel Session: Who needs the Anthropocene?

09:00 - 10:30

Is the Anthropocene a useful concept in discussions of climate engineering - or of anything else?

The idea that human interactions with the planet are the defining feature of our age is widespread, and widely seen as problematic. We will discuss the usefulness of the idea of the Anthropocene in as interactive a way as possible - people will be strongly encouraged to have something to say.

Convened by: 

Oliver Morton

Organisation: 
The Economist
Country: 
United Kingdom

Oliver Morton writes about scientific and technological change and their effects. He concentrates particularly on the understanding and imagining of planetary processes. 

He is a senior editor at The Economist, responsible for the magazine’s briefings and essays. He was previously Chief News and Features Editor at Nature and editor of Wired UK, and has contributed to a wide range of other publications. He writes on subjects from quantum physics to synthetic biology to moviemaking; his articles have been anthologised and won awards.

He is the author of three books: Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination and the Birth of a World (2002), which was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award; Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet (2007), a book of the year in The Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement; and The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World (2015), longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and shortlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize. In The Sunday Times Bryan Appleyard described it as “ambitious, enthralling and slightly strange”.

He is an honorary professor in Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at UCL and has a degree in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University. He lives with his wife in Greenwich, England, and Asteroid 10716 Olivermorton is named in his honour.