Washington D.C. -4 April 2002- "Biodiversity" encompasses all of life, embracing ecosystems found in rain forests, marshlands, deserts and the oceans.
On 11 April, Dr. Peter Raven, Chairman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), will discuss the ethical consequences of the deterioration of biological diversity. Raven, a long-time champion of "Earth's invigorating ecosystems," says they're endangered by human activities. Too often, Raven says, we may forget that we are all interconnected, relying on plants to directly and indirectly feed us, as a source for materials we use day-to-day, and to provide life-giving oxygen. As species rapidly disappear with loss of habitat, so do possibilities of discovering new medicines or useful products, according to Raven.
A pre-eminent botanist, author and enthusiastic advocate for preserving biodiversity, Raven has been director of the Missouri Botanical Garden since 1971.
Responding to Raven will be Dr. Larry Rasmussen, a Lutheran Theologian and Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. He will reflect upon the human tendency to "delight in causing injury to nature." Dr. Rasmussen believes people of all faiths should be judged by their contributions to the Earth's well-being. He will use an advertisement of the opening of the American Museum of Natural History's Hall of Diversity, placed in the New York Times, to investigate implications for science and religion, and to offer insight into the relationship between human beings and nature.
WHAT: AAAS Seminar: Avoiding the Sixth Major Extinction, Why It Matters
WHEN: 11 April 2002, 5:15 - 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: American Association for the Advancement of Science 1200 New York Avenue, 2nd floor auditorium, Washington DC
RSVP: Reporters should RSVP to Monica Amarelo at
Contact: Monica Amarelo
American Association for the Advancement of Science