2011 was a remarkable year. The Anthropocene concept broke out of the scientific community and into the mainstream. It took on a new significance and meaning in the wider world with potentially profound consequences for how we see our place on Earth.
The concept came of age.
The main events:
- In January 2011, the UK’s Royal Society’s in-house journal, Philosophical Transactions A, published a special issue, The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?
- On 11 May 2011, the Geological Society in London ran an open meeting of the same name.
- Also on 11 May, the Vatican (Pontifical Academy of Sciences)
published a report, Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene
- A week later in Stockholm (16-19 May), a group of Nobel Laureates gathered at the home of the Nobel prizes, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, for a symposium on global sustainability. The Anthropocene was high on everyone’s lips.
- On 28 May the Economist‘s front cover read: Welcome to the Anthropocene. The magazine ran an editorial and feature on the concept’s power to change our view of ourselves and the planet.
- A couple of weeks later, also at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and partners held a three-day workshop to look at how we navigate the Anthropocene, Planetary Stewardship: solutions for responsible development.
- Throughout May and June the global media discussed the Anthropocene: the Guardian, New York Times, BBC.
- In October, the Dalai Larma held a seminar to discuss the Great Acceleration and the Anthropocene.
- In November, to mark the arrival of number Seven Billion, Globaia launched the Cartography of the Anthropocene – an amazing suite of data visualizations taking us through the Anthropocene.
- December, Hope in the Age of the Man, (New York Times).
- End-of-year reviews brim with references to the Anthropocene, Nature 365, 2011 in review: living in the Anthropocene, Bloomberg Don’t Panic: Earth’s nine threats to humanity.