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Friday Oct 17
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

as part of our Science on Screen Series
join us for a film and talk-back with leading Energy scholar - DR. MATTHEW SCHNEIDER-MAYERSON

OUR FILM:  Onkalo (Finnish for "hiding place") is under construction: it's a cavernous world of tunnels and corridors, a permanent storage facility for nuclear waste, meant to last 100,000 years (that's 20 times as long as the pyramids have so far). Conceptual artist Michael Madsen's film is a creepy, eerily elegant meditation on human folly, punctuated by philosophical and historical references, that asks: how do you keep 3,000 future generations from inadvertently opening this Pandora's Box? Should markers be posted in every language or in hieroglyphics that say "keep out"? (Someone suggests Edvard Munch's "The Scream" might work nicely.) Would it be better not to post any notice and hope no one will chance upon it? And what about the Ice Age predicted to occur in a mere 60,000 years? Will the weight of the ice impact the structural integrity of Onkalo? If you thought the Gulf oil spill was scary... 

OUR SPEAKER:  Dr. Matthew Schneider-Mayerson is the Cultures of Energy Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice University's Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS).  His research concerns the social, cultural and political aspects of energy consumption and its environmental impacts.  In his forthcoming book, Peak Politics: Apocalyptic Environmentalism and Libertarian Political Culture in the United States, he explores the American ‘peak oil’ movement in the context of contemporary responses to environmental crises (such as climate change), fossil fuel dependency and the spread of libertarian ideals throughout American political culture.  He is currently engaged in projects on the absence of environmental justice climate change literature and art, a sociological study of technological optimism in the energy industry, and a book project on the shifting conceptions of happiness and freedom in the Anthropocene.  At Rice he teaches classes on the history of (un)sustainability, climate change, and science fiction; and blogs on CENHS's website,www.culturesofenergy.com.


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