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Paul Edwards, Director, Program in Science, Technology and Society, Stanford University

October 20, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Technology Eats History: Techno-Metabolism and Time in the Anthropocene

Masks are strongly encouraged for this event.

8417 Social Sciences, 1180 Observatory Drive

What we call “technology” today involves intensely concentrated metabolic processes, ingesting and transforming energy and materials on a planetary scale. Techno-metabolism also concentrates and compresses time. Its temporalities include Earth’s deep past (fossil fuels, minerals) and its present (biological primary production). The Anthropocene epoch – with humanity as a geological force – now appears likely to consume, as well, the human future, potentially to extinction.

Paul N. Edwards is Director of the Program on Science, Technology & Society at Stanford University (where he also co-directs the Stanford Existential Risks Initiative), and Professor of Information and History (Emeritus) at the University of Michigan. He is the author of A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010) and co-editor of Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance (MIT Press, 2001), as well as numerous articles and other books. With Janet Vertesi, he co-edits a book series, Infrastructures, for MIT Press. Edwards recently served as a Lead Author for the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2021).



October 20, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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