Public Lecture: The ecological role of humankind
About the talk: We are very self-assured about our mastery of nature. We look proudly down on all beings inferior to us – knowing that we are the rulers of the world. When we then look at the origin
of humankind, we point out the fact that our brains got bigger over time, that we mastered technology – including the use of fire, that we developed speech and that we freed ourselves from many of
the hardships offered by nature. In this talk, we will go back to our humble beginnings and look at the original ecological role of humankind and the whole reason for our existence. We will look at the separation that appeared between humans and nature brought about by the development of technology and then ask ourselves whether we knew what we were doing, and whether we should not re-investigate our role in nature before it is too late.
About the speaker: Prof Francois Durand teaches Philosophy of Science, Mammalogy and Vertebrate Zoology and Evolution. He and his students do research on Palaeontology and Cave Ecology. He endeavours to make science accessible to the lay person and to inform people about the impact of humans on nature and what we should do about it.