SG - Our Post-COVID Relationship to Nature

The COVID pandemic confronts us with how little control we actually have over other life forms. Philosopher Julia Rijssenbeek shows how the pandemic has uncovered the modern illusion of nature as an object of control.

Organised by Studium Generale, Studium Generale

Tue 23 November 2021 20:00

Venue Impulse, building number 115

About Our Post-COVID Relationship to Nature

We live in an age where it has become ever more easy to modify and manipulate life. The coronavirus, however, has shown that this not necessarily means that we are in control of life. In this lecture, Julia reminds us how humans are multispecies beings, always in interaction with each other and their environment.

Exploring the interconnectedness between us, other life forms, and technology Julia wonders what we can say about biotechnological futures? Does the pandemic force us to rethink concepts like ‘health’ and ‘the human’? And if so, how would that change our ideas of society, our relationship to nature, and our role in the destruction of ecosystems? Join this interactive exploration!

About series ‘Zoonoses As Political Actors’

In a mere matter of months a zoonotic disease thoroughly disrupted the world as we knew it, thus forcing us to rethink the ways in which we live our lives. Starting from the shared COVID-19 experience, we explore what world we came to inhabit and what a world to come may hold. Can we prevent future pandemics, or has the human species lost control over the (natural) world? What world do you want to live in? And how do we get there?

About Julia Rijssenbeek

Julia Rijssenbeek
Julia Rijssenbeek

Julia Rijssenbeek is a researcher at the intersection of philosophy, technology, and biology. She is working on her PhD in Philosophy of Socially Disruptive Technology at WUR, investigating both how synthetic biology might alter philosophical concepts and the values we hold, as well as what a biobased future may bring. Besides that, Julia works as a researcher at FreedomLab, a future studies thinktank, where she uses scenario methods to imagine alternative futures. These future scenarios prove to be fertile ground in informing policy makers and Julia’s engagement in public debates.