Register here by 28 August 2020
Daniel R. Brooks is Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, and Senior Research Fellow, H.W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology, University of Nebraska State Museum together with Salvatore J. Agosta an Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University will present a webinar with the title:
The Evolutionary Commons: Putting Darwinism to Work for Humanity in a Time of Existential Crisis
The unifying principle of Biology is that all life is evolved life. This puts evolutionary theory at the forefront of dealing with all environmental problems. As part of science’s social contract, the main goal of Biology should be to “put evolution to work” for humanity, which is currently facing existential threats stemming from the combination of high population density and widespread environmental change. Ironically, we believe the field of evolutionary biology is in a state of conceptual disarray, unable to offer a unified message for how to “put evolution to work,” at the time when we need it the most. We begin by providing an inclusive evolutionary framework helping to ensuring humanity’s future. The core element of this framework is the recognition that living systems generate, store, and transmit vast amounts of evolutionary potential. From an evolutionary perspective, the “commons” is not the material products of living systems at any given time and place, but rather the evolutionary potential stored in inheritance systems that allows them to cope with environmental changes. To persist indefinitely, humanity must preserve and make use of as much evolutionary potential as possible. We will illustrate the practical application of the commons using the emerging disease crisis.
Daniel R. Brooks is Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, and Senior Research Fellow, H.W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology, University of Nebraska State Museum. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Science) and Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Stockholm University and the University of Nebraska and has been a Visiting Fellow of the Collegium Budapest; the Ciencias sem Fronteras program of Brazil; the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study; the Institute of Advanced Studies, Köszeg; and the Hungarian National Institute of Ecology. Dan is an evolutionary biologist whose work ranges from field studies in tropical wildlands to foundational studies of evolutionary theory. He now focuses his efforts on integrating fundamental evolutionary principles into proactive and effective action plans for coping with the challenges of global climate. In 2019, Dan, Eric Hoberg, and Walter Boeger published The Stockholm Paradigm: Climate Change and Emerging Disease (University of Chicago). Dan’s latest work, with Sal Agosta, is The Major Metaphors of Evolution: Darwinism Then and Now (Springer), due out in late 2020.
Salvatore J. Agosta is an Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received a PhD in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, after which he was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Toronto followed by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship from Wilkes University. Sal is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist whose work ranges from field and laboratory studies of animal–plant interactions in both temperate and tropical habitats to theoretical studies of foundational concepts in ecology and evolution. His current research focuses on the physiological ecology of plant-feeding insects, particularly in the context of biological invasions and climate change. Sal’s latest work, with Dan Brooks, is The Major Metaphors of Evolution: Darwinism Then and Now (Springer).
For more information, contact Ms Nel-Mari Loock at 021 808 2652 or [email protected]