In September 2016 The Leakey Foundation brought together seven world-renowned speakers and researchers for a series of short talks focusing on evolution and the challenges of building a better, safer and more survivable future. The Survival Symposium was held at WGBH in Boston and was moderated by Emmy Award-winning journalist Miles O’Brien. The speakers were Ruth DeFries, Daniel Lieberman, Stuart Pimm, Steven Pinker, Pardis Sabeti, Daniel Schrag and Richard Wrangham.
We are pleased to announce that the videos of this important symposium are now available on our website as well as on our YouTube channel. To get you started here we have the video from Session 1: Humans in a Changing World, featuring Stuart Pimm, Ruth DeFries and Daniel Schrag. They address a variety of issues from biodiversity and extinction to climate change.
Stuart Pimm is the Doris Duke Chair of Conservation at Duke University. He is a world leader in the study of present day extinctions and what can be done to prevent them. He is the author of over 300 scientific papers and four books. Stuart Pimm directs SavingSpecies, a 501c3 non-profit that uses funds for carbon emissions offsets to fund local conservation groups restoring degraded lands in areas of exceptional tropical biodiversity.
Ruth DeFries is a professor of ecology and sustainable development at Columbia University in New York. She uses satellite imagery and field surveys to examine how humanity’s demands for food and other resources are affecting climate, biodiversity and other ecosystem services. She is committed to linking science with policy and public communication, most recently through her book “The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis.”
Daniel Schrag is the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, professor of environmental science and engineering at Harvard University, and director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. He also directs the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Daniel’s interests include climate change, energy technology, and energy policy. He has studied climate change over the broadest range of Earth’s history, including how climate change and the chemical evolution of the atmosphere influenced the evolution of life in the past and what steps might be taken to prepare for impacts of climate change in the future.