Research Clusters

The Language of Conservation Project

    This IHR colloquium is organized by The language of Conservation Project: a long-term project dedicated to a revolution in the ethics and discourse of conservation, and to a transformation in our relationship to Nature, and especially to Life itself, in all its great diversity of forms. The project is (in its first stage) a fundamental and (hopefully) decisive and lasting critique of the idea of sustainable development (SD); the idea and its discourse has driven world-class conservation for 40 years. The SD paradigm dominates the multilateral, intergovernmental, regional and governmental organizations (e.g., UN development institutions behind the Millennium Development Goals and the World Bank), but it is also prevalent in the language of the vision, priorities, and policies of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the most influential international NGOs (e.g., WWF, Conservation International), and the so-called “New Conservation” movement (Kareiva, et als.). It can be demonstrated that for all the good intentions behind it, SD is a completely empty, or even contradictory, term that has undermined and set back conservation all these years, especially the conservation of species.

    What is Lost When a Species Goes Extinct?

    UC Santa Cruz Faculty and Student Participants

    Daniel Guevara, Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy

    Claudio Campagna, Adjunct Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology;
    Conservation Biologist, Wildlife Conservation Society

    T.J. Demos, Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture and Director of the Center for
    Creative Ecologies

    Nathaniel Deutsch, Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Humanities

    Jonnathan Ellis, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Public

    James Estes, Adjunct Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Member
    of the US Academy of Sciences

    Jennifer Gonzalez, Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture

    Miriam Greenberg, Professor of Sociology

    Sean Hunter, Doctoral Student in Philosophy

    Henry Highton, Doctoral Student in Literature

    Paul Koch, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Dean of Natural Sciences

    Burney Le Boeuf, Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Travis Raymond, Doctoral Student in Philosophy

    Beth Shapiro, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


    March 30, 2017 – The Language of Conservation: From the Field to Philosophy

    April 14, 2017 – Ethics and Language of Conservation Colloquium

    April 20, 2017 – Humanities Earth Day

    April 29, 2017 – Alumni Weekend 2017: Ethics and the Language of Conservation

    More Information

    For more information visit the Center for Public Philosophy



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