What Is a Horizon? Extinction and Time amid Climate Change
Adriana Petryna, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, is visiting the Science Studies Colloquium.
Extinction is an ecological construct that assumes some loss of natural structural stability. It also signifies a curious hiatus in the scientific imagination of what might come next. This talk is part of a broader project that examines emerging scientific practices meant to monitor increasingly unpredictable ecosystemic behaviors and to inform prospective thinking about how natural systems and societal infrastructures might adapt to ecological dangers linked to global climate change.
Given increasing potentials for catastrophic surprises, Petryna will discuss how scientists are quantifying points of no return for ecosystems under threat and developing toolkits to detect early warning signals in what she calls horizoning work.
Adriana Petryna books include Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl (2013 ) and When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects (2009). She is coeditor of When People Come First: Critical Studies in Global Health (2013) and Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practices (2006).