The earth and all of the species living here go through various transformations over time. For example, there have been six “great extinction” periods over the last 500 million years (we are living in one now). But for the first time in this series of changes, one species is the primary cause – humans. In response to that, some scientists and historians suggest that we have entered (and created) a new geological epoch. Welcome to the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans. While this might seem, and is, quite a self-centered designation, it is also, and more importantly, a self-critical one. Because of humans the climate is changing and numerous other species have either gone extinct or are threatened with extinction. Should we just sit idly by, continuing down this road? Or should we enact change to try to shift the path of destruction? Brown Symposium XXXIX explores these and myriad other questions through various lenses.  

For the full schedule, together with contributor biographies, please visit

Brown Symposium XXXIX is free and open to the public; no registration is required.


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