Mar 2022

Climate Crisis and Future Generations: Mariagrazia Portera


March 8, 2022

Labont Seminars 2021/22 – Climate Crisis and Future Generations

8 March 2022, h 4:00-6:00 pm

Mariagrazia Portera (Università degli studi di Firenze), “Conservation of the prettiest: the role of beauty (and other aesthetic categories) in biological conservation strategies”

What is beauty? Can we measure it? What is the role played by human aesthetic attitudes in developing effective strategies to tackle today’s environmental crisis? How can aesthetics, as a philosophical discipline with an interdisciplinary interest in empirical and natural sciences, contribute to address urgent issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, mass extinctions? As known, human aesthetic preferences for certain animal species (mammals over insects, butterflies over beetles etc.) have become in recent years a key concern in conservation sciences, resulting in a growing amount of research; these preferences, moreover, are regularly harnessed by environmental organizations which tend to choose “cute” animals such as pandas or polar bears, as examples of imperilled species, to gain stronger public support for their campaigns. Are we more prone to defend and invest resources on “pretty” species rather than on ugly or unappealing ones? In times of biodiversity loss and mass extinctions is the prettiest – and not the fittest – that is bound to survive?

Webex link (PW: SMmpQpJh832)