21 Apr 2016
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
470 Stephens Hall
Professor of Environmental History, Philosophy, and Ethics, University of California, Berkeley
Autonomous Nature explores the prehistory of chaos and complexity theory from ancient times in the Western world to the (so-named) Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Ideas of an unpredictable, unruly, and recalcitrant nature captured the imaginations of ancient, medieval, and early modern European peoples and triggered efforts by seventeenth and eighteenth century scientists to find ways of predicting and controlling it through mathematics and experimentation. Yet despite the dramatic achievements of Western science, the limits of nature’s predictability are still manifested today in the effects of natural disasters, extreme weather, and climate change.
Sponsored by the Environmental Sciences and History Group
Additional sponsorship comes from: CSTMS