Stewart Brand: Reviving Extinct Species -- A Seminar Flashback

In May 02013 Stewart Brand discussed De-extinction and one of Long Now’s latest projects Revive and Restore. Bringing back extinct species is a scientific pursuit that is loaded with both cultural and environmental significance. Revive and Restore is galvanizing discussion amongst the general public as well as the academic community around these efforts and funding research on bringing back the passenger pigeon and other species. Twice a month we highlight a Seminar About Long-term Thinking (SALT) from our archives.

Video of the 12 most recent Seminars is free for all to view. Reviving Extinct Species is a recent SALT talk, free for public viewing until late May 02014. SALT audio is free for everyone on our Seminar pages and via podcastLong Now members can see all Seminar videos in HD.

From Stewart Brand’s summary of this Seminar (in full here):

I concluded, “The fact is, humans have made a huge hole in nature over the last 10,000 years. But now we have the ability to repair some of the damage. We’ll do most of the repair by expanding and protecting wild areas and by expanding and protecting the populations of endangered species.

Some species that we killed off totally, we might consider bringing back to a world that misses them.

In the clip below Stewart describes Pleistocene Park a project in present day Siberia to re-establish the mammoth steppe ecosystem which was prevalent there over 100,000 years ago. They’ve been re-introducing once-native non-extinct species since 01988, but the big one is still missing. Stewart tells us they are ready for the mammoth:

Stewart Brand is a co-founder and President of the Board of Directors of The Long Now Foundation. He created and edited the Whole Earth Catalog (National Book Award), and co-founded the Hackers Conference and The WELL. His books includeThe Clock of the Long NowHow Buildings Learn; and The Media Lab. His most recent book Whole Earth Discipline, is published by Viking in the US and Atlantic in the UK.

In July 02014 Stewart and Revive and Restore will be in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts to discuss the potential de-extinction of the Heath Hen. They are looking for volunteers to help with those events.

The Seminars About Long-term Thinking series began in 02003 and is presented each month live in San Francisco. The series is curated and hosted by Long Now’s President Stewart Brand. Seminar audio is available to all via podcast. Everyone can watch full video of the last 12 Long Now Seminars. That includes this Seminar video until late June 02014. Long Now members can watch the full ten years of Seminars in HD. Membership levels start at $8/month and include lots of benefits. You can join Long Now here.

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The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

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