Forgot your password? | Register Here
 

NYC - Public Lecture Series feat. William Grassie


Our Common Story: An Introduction to Big History


Typically, science is taught as separate specializations, and history is divided into different time periods and geographic regions. Big History is unique in the integration of all these different specializations, periods, and regions into a single narrative account of the 13.8 billion-year history of our universe, the 4.5 billion-year evolution of our planet, the 6 million-year rise of our species, and the 10,000-year accelerating drama of human civilization. For the first time, humans now have a common story that transcends all of our ethnic, linguistic, religious, and ideological differences. The meaning of this new Big History, however, is an open question. This lecture is an introduction to Big History and an exploration of what it might mean for humanity in the Anthropocene, the new era in which human activity begins to dominate evolutionary and geological processes on the planet.


Photo courtesy of anthropocene.info

Our guide is William Grassie, a student of Big History for over twenty years. Grassie is an interdisciplinary scholar, academic entrepreneur, social activist, and accomplished author. During his school years, he hitchhiked some 30,000 kilometers throughout North America and Europe. He has worked as a newspaper boy, farm hand, house painter, dish washer, janitor, night watchman, caddy, caretaker of multiply handicapped children, apprentice in a ceramic studio, camp counselor, beekeeper, computer consultant, real estate manager, and general contractor, among other jobs. Billy received a B.A. in political science from Middlebury College, and then worked for ten years on nuclear disarmament, citizen diplomacy, community organizing, and sustainability issues in Washington, D.C, Jerusalem, Philadelphia, and West Berlin. He completed a Ph.D. in Religion from Temple University, where he wrote a dissertation entitled Reinventing Nature: Science Narratives as Myths for an Endangered Planet (1994). He has taught at Temple University, as well as at Swarthmore College, Pendle Hill, and the University of Pennsylvania. A recipient of academic awards and grants from the American Friends Service Committee, the Roothbert Fellowship, and the John Templeton Foundation, Billy served as a Senior Fulbright Fellow in the Department of Buddhist Studies at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 2007–2008. He was the founding director of the Metanexus Institute, which promotes scientifically rigorous and philosophically open-ended exploration of foundational questions. Metanexus has worked with partners at some 400 universities in 45 countries and publishes an online journal. He has authored The New Sciences of Religion: Exploring Spirituality from the Outside In and Bottom Up (2010) and a collection of essays, Politics by Other Means: Science and Religion in the 21st Century (2010). Billy enjoys many sports, including hiking, skiing, sailing, scuba, tennis, yoga, and dance.

For more information, visit grassie.net.

Photo courtesy of bighistoryproject.com

Date: 05/11/2015

Time: 6:00pm Reception, 7:00pm Lecture

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: Free

Guest Ticket Price: $20

Student Ticket Price:

Free for EC Student Members, $5 w/ a valid Student ID

Reservation Notes:

Reservations are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To secure a reservation, please email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call us at 212.628.8383.

Back to top
The Explorers Club ®, World Center for Exploration ®, The Flag and the Seal are registered trademarks of The Explorers Club. Use by others is strictly prohibited. Photographs appearing on this website are used by permission and may not be copied or re-used in any manner.

Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste