2013 Symposium

The Nature of the Unnatural

16th Annual Environmental Affairs Symposium

October 14-17, 2013

This year’s symposium focuses on modifications of our biophysical surroundings that are considered “unnatural.” Certain activities, such as species restoration and biomimicry, are uncritically embraced while others, like genetic modification and cloning, can be seen as monstrous and perverse.

What shapes these ethical and aesthetic preferences and how can we analyze them in a constructive way? Do unexamined ideologies foreclose opportunities for positive environmental change?  We will look into complex issues such as genetically modified organisms, species resurrection, rewilding, ecological restoration, artificial intelligence and the ethics of “messing with creation”.