PUBLIC LECTURE: History, Novelty and Virtue in Ecological Restoration
A public lecture by Professor Eric Higgs, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada and 2012 UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Professor-at-Large.
The science and practice of ecological restoration have thrived for several decades on the idea that historical knowledge anchors our judgments and practice. The approach has shifted from the idea of fixed reference points to more recent process-oriented configurations. All of this is poised to change. The intensification of anthropogenic environmental and ecological change is moving the bar and the baseline: it is no longer clear what, if any, historical references are appropriate for restoration. Moreover, there are concerns that restoration as we know it may pass on, and certainly global processes of change challenge the local and regional focus of most restoration efforts.
In this lecture Professor Higgs will argue a counterintuitive position that historical fidelity will become more important, and serve as a key virtue of the future for restoration for a rapidly changing nature. This is inspired by recent writing on virtues ethics and ecological restoration. He will draw from his decade-long field project in the Canadian Rocky Mountains examining landscape change with repeat photography, and mingle this with his understanding of the emergence of hybrid and novel ecosystems.
This lecture is a part of the Institute of Advanced Studies 2012 lecture series ‘Global Transformation and Public Ethics’. This series of free public lectures aims to stimulate considered debate about urgent issues in public ethics and policy as well as reflecting on ways we can improve public discourse about such issues. For more information, visit: http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/ethics
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