27 May
30 May

Uniting Ecology and Civilization: Histories, Theories, Futures

Opening hours / Beginning:

27. May 2021 - 30. May 2021

In the 1970s a German philosopher coined the phrase „ecological civilization”, which has now become popular in many parts of the world, not least so in China. How might the humanities help us achieve that vision in the future, and what ideals should modern societies adopt in relation to the natural world? Can the science of ecology offer guidance to philosophy, governance, economics, technology, or the design arts?

The conference also hopes to address how the ancient cultural ideal of „dominion over nature” has informed past civilizations and what might be its relevance in the so-called „Anthropocene.” Another cultural ideal we want to consider is „sustainability”—its shifting meaning, promise, and application. And then there is the ideal we might call „recovering the wild,” as it was enunciated by Henry David Thoreau among others, meaning to infuse civilization with a love of wild, unmanaged nature. Can that ideal help civilizations address the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of such natural ecosystems as the rainforest and coral reefs?

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Christof Mauch, director of the Rachel Carson Center.

Other opening remarks will be offered by Prof. Donald Worster, honorary director for the newly opened Center for Ecological History at Renmin University of China.

For further information please visit the website of the Rachel Carson Center