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@example.com
Please RSVP before 28 August 2020