Does our modern techno-industrial society destroy the biophysical basis of our existence? – Lecture hosted by IRAS


Topic: Will Modern Civilization be the Death of Us? Does our modern techno-industrial society destroy the biophysical basis of our existence?

Webinar Speakers

Dr. William Rees (Professor Emeritus @University of British Columbia)
William Rees is a population ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning. His research focuses on the biophysical requirements for sustainability and on the implications of global ecological trends for global civilization. In this context, he has special interests in cities as particularly vulnerable components of the human ecosystem and in both psycho-cognitive and cultural barriers to rational ‘environmental’ behaviour and associated public policy. Prof Rees is perhaps best known as the originator and co-developer (with his graduate students) of ‘ecological footprint analysis’ (EFA), a quantitative tool that shows the extent to which humanity is in ‘ecological overshoot’. Overshoot poses a serious challenge to policies promoting the continuous growth of the human enterprise—we would need almost five Earth-like planets to support just the present world population sustainably

Dr. Ron Cole-Turner (Professor @Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)
Ron Cole-Turner teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he holds the H. Parker Sharp Chair in Theology and Ethics, a position relating theology and ethics to developments in science and technology. He is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion, and until recently served as co-chair of the American Academy of Religion Unit on “Human Enhancement and Transhumanism.” His most recent books include a study of human evolution and its theological significance, entitled The End of Adam and Eve: Theology and the Science of Human Origins (2016).