ICT For Life Sciences Forum

The geology of humanity – The power of data to change our worldview

Thursday 6 December 2012

Owen Gaffney will present Welcome to the Anthropocene, a stunning view of the vast scale of human influence on our planet. His unique data visualization captures why many now argue humanity has driven our planet into a new geological era – the Anthropocene –defined by our impact on Planet Earth.

Owen will explore how global changes driven by the Industrial Revolution, even bigger changes driven by globalization, and changes driven by the digital revolution are creating a globally interconnected society and what this means for the future.

He will reveal the power of data visualisation to inform our changing worldview.

Science writer and journalist Owen Gaffney is director of communications of the International Geosphere-Biosphere programme and author of the Anthropocene Journal. In June 2012, Owen’s short film, Welcome to the Anthropocene, opened the UN’s largest summit to date, Rio+20, to an audience of 188 heads of state and ministers. In the same year Owen launched the first educational website on the Anthropocene.

The film is a short journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to today. It charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes.  Owen has also written several articles internationally on the role of social media for major societal change.

The International Geosphere-Biosphere was launched in 1987 to coordinate international research on global-scale and regional-scale interactions between Earth’s biological, chemical and physical processes and their interactions with human systems.

IGBP’s vision is to provide essential scientific leadership and knowledge of the Earth system to help guide society onto a sustainable pathway during rapid global change.

Thursday, 6 December 2012
Refreshments, 5pm-6pm
Presentation, 6pm-7pm

Charles Pearson Theatre, Eastern Resource Centre
University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3025


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