How will bacteria, fungi and other microbes shape and be shaped by the future in 2040 and beyond? What do microbes and fungi have to do with climate change & sustainability? This event aims to answer these questions in the only way we know how: from an interdisciplinary perspective.
We are surrounded by a tremendous diversity of microbes and fungi that is often invisible to the naked eye. These organisms drive carbon and nutrient cycling, process waste, facilitate plant growth, support our food systems, and shape our climate. At the same time, microbes are themselves impacted by anthropogenic activities and climate change. In response, artists and scholars across disciplines are focusing on microbes to envision new climate futures and center multispecies relationships in sustainability movements.
This two-hour long event will be broken into two parts: first, the audience will engage in a short panel discussion featuring PATRICIA KAISHIAN (Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Bard College), SARAH HEARN (Artist and Researcher) and ELIZABETH HÉNAFF (Assistant Professor of Integrated Media at NYU Tandon). The discussion will be followed by opportunities to engage with and visualize microbes through microscopy, a grow-your-own mushroom station with NYU MYCOLOGY GROUP, and other interactive activities.
We hope to explore what new knowledge might emerge when we consider interdisciplinary (and cross-disciplinary) research and practices about the connection between microbes and climate change. The event will highlight how interdisciplinary methods, particularly those that bridge the sciences and arts, can challenge the status quo and offer others important new perspectives on large and often intangible issues related to climate change. This event will be held in partnership with NYU OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY’S 2040 NOW WEEK.