Renowned science writer Andrew Revkin and acclaimed exploration photographer George Steinmetz will discuss their collaboration on the new book, The Human Planet: Earth at the Dawn of the Anthropocene(Abrams, 2020). Featuring 200 four-color photographs taken from Steinmetz’s signature aerial vantage point, The Human Planet is a sweeping visual chronicle of Earth, revealing both its untrammeled natural features and the human project that relentlessly redesigns its surface in its quest to build shelter, grow food, generate energy, and create beauty through art and architecture.
Admission to Earth Day at 50: The Human Planet with Andrew Revkin and George Steinmetz on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, is $30 for Museum members, $45 for non-members. A signed copy of the book is included with the purchase of a ticket. Doors open at 6:20 pm; a reception with light bites and beverages begins at 6:30 pm, with the discussion at 7:00 pm, followed by a Q&A with the audience. To reserve your seat, visitbrucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376.
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, this lavish new book is a primary document of the dawn of the Anthropocene, the new era in the geological history when, by growing scientific consensus, humanity’s actions have joined natural forces in powerfully shaping our planet’s future.
George Steinmetz, who has circled the globe to report on such urgent issues as climate change, sustainable agriculture, and the ever-expanding human footprint, shows how, in ways both large and small, people seek to overrule nature, as in desert cities doing perpetual battle against drifting sand. He also finds hopeful signs of a new human approach to living with nature.
Steinmetz is known for his ambitious photographic projects for National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, the National Science Foundation, and other leading journalistic and scientific institutions. His books for Abrams include New York Air (2015), Desert Air (2012), Empty Quarter (2009), and African Air (2008).
Andrew Revkin has authored a thought-provoking introduction to the book and provides explanatory captions for the photographs. Over a three-decades-long career, including 21 years at The New York Times, Revkin has won most of the top awards in science journalism. He is the founding director of the new Initiative on Communication and Sustainability at the Earth Institute of Columbia University.
The vantage point in George’s photographs is truly special, Revkin writes in his introduction. “The term ‘overview effect’ describes a special sense of awe and deep respect for our planet experienced by astronauts as they have observed Earth first from orbit and then from the moon from how Earth’s expanse of blue, green, and white glows, in miraculous, sobering contrast, against the blackness and vacuum of space.”
“George’s overview is different from that of an astronaut or an airline passenger. With his backpack motor and parachute-like wing, he found and perfected a way to make photographs that are both sweeping and intimate—capturing camel caravans and fishing fleets and rice paddies and city traffic set against broader vistas of dunes and seas and forests. The advent of the remotely piloted drone has extended his range and enabled him to refine his vantage point.”
Revkin has written on climate change for more than 30 years, reporting from the North Pole to the White House, the Amazon rain forest to the Vatican—mostly for The New York Times. He has held positions at National Geographic and Discover Magazine and won the top awards in science journalism multiple times, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Along with his contribution to The Human Planet, Revkin has written books on the history of humanity’s relationship with weather, the changing Arctic, global warming, and the assault on the Amazon rain forest.
As the founding director the Initiative on Communication and Sustainability at Columbia University's Earth Institute, Revkin is building programs, courses, tools, and collaborations bridging communication gaps between science and society to cut climate risk and boost social and environmental resilience.
Visit brucemuseum.org to reserve your seat to the Earth Day at 50: The Human Planet with Andrew Revkin and George Steinmetz on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
Support for Bruce Presents programs is generously provided by Berkley One, a Berkley Company, Connecticut Office of the Arts, and Northern Trust. Special thanks to Paulaner USA for supporting the Bruce Museum’s public programs and special events.