2017 ICOM NATHIST Conference: The Anthropocene
Natural History Museums in the Age of Humanity
October 25-30, 2017
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
The Anthropocene is the concept that human activity has had a profound and pervasive impact on the planet, such that its effects will be present in the fossil record millions of years from now. This warrants a dedicated geological era, the Anthropocene. The concept of humanity’s impact on and interaction with the global environment touches on science, conservation, artistic expression, philosophy, and even recreation. Natural history museums are at the nexus of these considerations, researching arcane ecological and evolutionary concepts, interpreting them for the public.
The Host Museum
Established 120 years ago by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Museum of Natural History is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. It is among the major natural history museums in the United States, maintaining, preserving, and interpreting a collection of millions of objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. The museum generates new scientific knowledge, advances scientific literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures.
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Several exciting programs and museum events will run in tandem with the 2017 conference. Attendees will receive tickets to the museum’s famous Halloween party and be among the first to see Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s new exhibition—We Are Nature. The exhibition will feature pieces of the museum’s hidden collection in its exploration of the Anthropocene. See the schedule.
Eminent Keynote Speakers
Hear Dr. Helmuth Trischler,
director of the Rachel Carson Center in Munich, and Richard Pell, curator of PostNatural Organisms at the Center for PostNatural History, speak.
See the Keynote Speakers
Richard Pell is the founder of and curator of postnatural organisms at the Center of PostNatural History, which is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge relating to the complex interplay between culture, nature, and biotechnology. Pell is also a founding member of the Institute for Applied Autonomy, an art and engineering collective responsible for producing robotic projects like GraffitiWriter, iSee, and TXTmob, which have been on exhibit internationally. Additionally, Pell is an associate professor in the school of art at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2016, Pell was honored with Pittsburgh Center for the Arts’ Artist of the Year Award for his exhibition The Myth of the Great Outright Extraordinary!, which he featured at the Center of PostNatural History. The exhibition included objects, sounds, and photos like shards of titanium from an experimental supersonic plane crash and stereoscopic photographs of skulls.
Dr. Helmuth Trischler
Dr. Helmuth Trischler is the head of research at the Deutsches Museum in Munich and serves as the joint director with Dr. Christof Mauch of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. Trischler is also a professor of modern history and history of technology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University. Trischler has authored more than 30 books and edited volumes and over 100 articles on social history, history of science and technology, transport history, and environmental history among other topics. He has also co-edited several book series, including Umwelt und Geschichte (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen) and The Environment in History: International Perspectives (Berghahn Books, Oxford and New York). Some of his most recent publications focus on the Anthropocene and sustainable practices.
Welcome to Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, a city at the junction of three rivers, has scenic views, comfortable accommodations, and award-winning restaurants. Carnegie Museum of Natural History is located in Oakland, one of Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods. See recommended hotels, get driving directions, and more.
ICOM NATHIST is the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Natural History of the International Council of Museums. When you join ICOM NATHIST, you connect with a community of over 300 individuals and institutions, representing thousands of professionals across the world. There are opportunities to share your knowledge, become involved with international conservation projects, and attend meetings on wide-ranging topics, often in partnership with other international organizations.
Visit icom-nathist.org for more information.