Planet in Peril: Humanity’s Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them

October 27th 11:30 pm - October 28th 12:30 am @ East Hall, Little Theatre

Professor Michael Bess, Chancellor’s Professor of History and Professor of Communication of Science and Technology at Vanderbilt University, will discuss his new book, Planet in Peril: Humanity’s Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them, published by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Bess is an award-winning historian of science and technology. He is a specialist in 20th- and 21st-century Europe, with a particular interest in the interactions between social and cultural processes and technological change. His fifth and most recent book focuses on the existential risks posed by climate change, nuclear weapons, pandemics (natural or bioengineered) and artificial intelligence, surveying the solutions that have been tried, and why they have fallen short thus far.

He describes a pathway for gradually modifying the United Nations over the coming century so that it becomes more effective at coordinating global solutions. The book explores how to get past ideological polarization and global political fragmentation, drawing lessons from the experience of the environmental movement and of the European unification movement.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Politics and the People, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Department of History and the Environmental Studies program, and is free and open to the public.


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