Events

Why Dinosaurs Matter

PESGB GEOLiteracy Tour, 8-15 April 2017: ‘Why Dinosaurs Matter’ With Professor Ken Lacovara

The PESGB are delighted to announce that Professor Ken Lacovara will be headlining The PESGB GEOLiteracy Tour 2017.

He has unearthed some of the largest dinosaurs ever to walk our planet, including the super-massive Dreadnoughtus, which at 65 tons weighs more than seven T. rex! A popular public speaker, Lacovara enjoys sharing the wonders of science and discovery with audiences around the world. He has appeared in numerous television documentaries on American TV networks, as well as on the BBC, and was voted as one of the best TED speakers in 2016.

A 7′ femur from a Sauropod found in Patagonia. C. Robert Clark

Why study the ancient past? Because it gives us perspective and humility. It’s the past that gives our world context. And it’s the past that gives us foresight. Dinosaurs were tiny, and huge. They were skittish and ferocious. Fast and slow. Runners, walkers, climbers, flyers, and sometimes swimmers. They were solitary and gregarious. Nocturnal and diurnal. Meat-eaters and plant-eaters. Hunters, scavengers, grazers, and browsers. They were drab, colourful, scaled and feathered. But, most of all, they were astoundingly adaptable. Dinosaurs dominated every continent and were thriving the day before their demise. Snuffed out by an asteroid, along with 75% of species on the planet, their sudden extinction emphasizes the contingent nature of Earth history.

Over geological time, improbable, nearly impossible events do occur. By studying the ancient past, we begin to see ourselves as part of nature, connected across deep time to all other living things. After 165 million years, the dinosaurs died in the world’s fifth mass extinction, wiped out in a cosmic accident, through no fault of their own. They didn’t see it coming and they didn’t have a choice. We, on the other hand, do have a choice and the nature of the fossil record tells us that our place in this world is both precarious and potentially fleeting. Right now, our species is propagating an environmental disaster of geological proportions that is so broad and so severe, that it can rightly be called the sixth extinction. But, unlike the dinosaurs, we can see it coming. And, unlike the dinosaurs, we can do something about it. That choice is ours.

Join Ken on Tour…

TOUR DATES

SATURDAY 8 APRIL

Kimmeridge Bay & Lulworth Cove Family Field Trip

FREE but registration required

 

The Etches Collection Museum

Talk & Reception

FREE but registration required

 

SUNDAY 9 APRIL

Lecture

Lyme Regis Baptist Church

FREE but registration required

 

MONDAY 10 APRIL

Lecture

Natural History Museum, London

FREE but registration required

 

TUESDAY 11 APRIL

Stoneley Lecture & Reception

Cavendish Centre, London

£15, includes drinks reception

 

WEDNESDAY 12 APRIL

Keith Palmer Lecture & Reception

University of Birmingham School

FREE but registration required

 

FRIDAY 14 APRIL

Fun family activities throughout the day

TED talk screenings & Q&A

Aberdeen Science Centre, Aberdeen

Registration not required, venue entry fees apply

 

Stoneley Lecture & Reception

Aberdeen Science Centre, Aberdeen

£10, includes drinks reception

 

SATURDAY 15 APRIL

Lecture (Part of the Edinburgh Science Festival)

National Museum of Scotland

Registration coming soon

 

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