Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University
Prospicience (The Art and Science of Looking Ahead) and Geoengineering: What If We Can Dial Our Future?
Tuesday, October 14, 20084:30-6:00 PMMcCormick Hall 101
Discussant: Dr. Bennett Foddy, Harold T. Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioethics, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University
Professor Socolow's current research focuses on global carbon management and fossil-carbon sequestration. He is the co-principal investigator (with ecologist, Stephen Pacala) of Princeton University's Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI), a $20-million dollar, ten-year (2001-2010) project supported by BP and Ford. Under CMI, Princeton has launched new, coordinated research in environmental science, energy technology, geological engineering, and public policy. Additional interests include global allocation of climate mitigation responsibility, efficient use of energy, nuclear energy, and geoengineering.
As we gain understanding of the workings of our planet, we are identifying planetary-scale interventions (like injecting reflecting particles into the stratosphere) that might compensate for the unprecedented changes human actions are already creating. Suppose side effects are judged to be tolerable and ground rules for governance are developed that all nations accept. We are still left with questions about objectives: What planetary state should we seek? Should we intervene, even if we can? A textured understanding of our long-term future as a species is needed. Might this be the territory of philosophy? [click here for the video of the lecture] [Click here for slide show]