Overline: Tuesday Talk
Headline: Apocalypticism, Catastrophism, and the Politics of the Anthropocene

“Alarmist science” is often criticised as (either) catastrophist or apocalyptic (or both). Such criticism has been raised with regard to alarmist scenarios of global warming as well as, more recently, in response to future scenarios of the Anthropocene that imagine civilizational collapse (of various proportions) or even a planet without human beings.

In these interdisciplinary debates, only very few scholars (mostly theologians) use apocalyptic patterns of thought in affirmative ways. With the exception of this tiny minority, most authors use attributes such as “catastrophist” or “apocalyptic” polemically. They are concerned that apocalyptic scenarios narrow the margin for political decision in a way that gives too much power to scientific expertise and see the threat of technocracy looming on the horizon.

In his talk, historian and IASS Senior Fellow Franz Mauelshagen critically discusses such concerns.

Tuesday the 6th of March at 2 pm.

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam, Helmholtzstraße 5, Canteen.

30-minute lecture followed by a 30-minute discussion.