Interdisciplinary Workshop on Biodiversity comes to ENVS

ENVS is excited to offer Biodiversity at Twenty-Five: The Problem of Ecological Proxy Values, brought to us with the efforts of affiliated faculty Nicolae Morar, Brendan Bohannan, and Ted Toadvine. The workshop will organize a series of interdisciplinary seminars and public talks from biology, philosophy, and environmental studies in order question the normative role of biodiversity.

Speakers include: Donald Maier on November 21st, 2013David Hooper on March 12, 2014; and Kim Sterelny in May 2014.

Dr. Morar writes on the workshop’s topic, “scientific concepts have often been treated as “proxies” for value. This is especially true for values assigned to nature, such as conservation value. Since its coinage in 1986, the concept of biodiversity has emerged as one of the most influential in this tradition of proxy concepts. However, the difficulties of defining and measuring biodiversity, in combination with the growing empirical evidence that biodiversity does not always serve as an appropriate proxy for conservation goals, suggests that the normative uses of the concept of biodiversity must be reconsidered.”

This workshop is made possible by the generous support of the Environmental Studies Program, the Department of Philosophy, the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, and the College of Arts & Sciences through the CAS grants program.