WINTER 2017 COMMUNICATION & MEDIA SPEAKER SERIES Science, society, and metaphors for the Anthropocene

Thursday, April 06, 2017
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Brendon Larson, Associate Professor & Associate Dean, School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability, University of Waterloo

Event details

This presentation will examine how metaphors interweave science and society as well as their implications for environmental sustainability. I will focus on how we may assess novel metaphors proposed in the environmental sciences, especially in this era of dramatic global change that has been contentiously called the ‘Anthropocene.’ 

With regards to communication, Dr. Larson has done pioneering work in understanding how using different metaphors and frames to discuss environmental issues may shift public perceptions of the issues. His interdisciplinary approach includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. He is an interdisciplinary scholar, educator, and speaker who explores how conservation-minded people are adapting to the diverse, concurrent, and human-caused ecological changes that Earth is experiencing. He completed an undergrad in biology at U. Guelph, a Master’s in botany at U. Toronto, and an interdisciplinary PhD in science and society at U. California–Santa Barbara, and he am now an Associate Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (SERS) and Associate Dean – Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Environment at U. Waterloo, where he advises a team of grad students and post-docs. He have been a visiting scholar at Linköping University (Sweden) and Stellenbosch University (South Africa), and have given nearly 120 lectures, including 20 keynotes and invited plenary lectures, at conferences and workshops in fifteen countries on six continents. I have published over 65 refereed journal articles and book chapters, often in high-impact journals including BioScience, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Global Environmental Change, Science, and Trends in Ecology and Evolution. In 2011 Yale University Press published my first sole-authored book, Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability: Redefining Our Relationship with Nature, which was awarded the 2011 Oravec Research Award by the National Communication Association. My current research focuses on stakeholder perceptions of assisted colonization and invasive species, and it is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. He has served as Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies in my department, and on the boards of World Wildlife Fund–Canada, Ontario Nature (as President), and the Invasive Species Centre (as Chair). He is currently on the editorial board of the journal Diversity and Distributions.​