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Filmed on Wednesday April 7, 02021
Nathaniel Rich is the author of Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade, Losing Earth: A Recent History and Odds Against Tomorrow, amongst others. He is a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a regular contributor to The Atlantic, Harper's, and The New York Review of Books, and other publications.
Ryan Phelan is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Revive & Restore, with a mission to enhance biodiversity through the genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species. Phelan works with some of the world’s leading molecular biologists, conservation biologists, and conservation organizations to develop pioneering genetic rescue projects using cutting-edge genomic technologies. A serial entrepreneur, Phelan was the founder and CEO of two innovative healthcare companies including DNA Direct, the first medical genetics company to focus on bringing personalized medicine to the consumer.
Ben Novak collaboratively pioneers new tools for genetic rescue and de-extinction. He helps shape the genetic rescue efforts of Revive & Restore and leads its flagship project, The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback. Novak works with collaborators and partners to restore the ecology of the Passenger Pigeon to the eastern North American forests, on the sequencing of its genome and to set the standard for de-extinction protocols and considerations in the lab and field. His Master’s in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is with the University of California Santa Cruz, and he studied at the McMaster University Ancient DNA Centre and has worked with the Australian Animal Health Laboratory–CSIRO.
Reporter and writer Nathaniel Rich delves deep into conversation with Revive & Restore's Ryan Phelan and Ben Novak to discuss his newest book Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade,which attempts to come to terms with the massive changes that are underway on our planet, and how humans can better understand our role to caretake, conserve and thoughtfully manage our relationship with nature for the long term.
From Losing Earth to the film Dark Waters (adapted from his writing), Nathaniel Rich’s stories have come to define the way we think of contemporary ecological narrative. In Second Nature, he asks what it means to live in an era of terrible responsibility. The question is no longer, How do we return to the world that we’ve lost? It is, What world do we want to create in its place?
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