Future Earth launches Anthropocene magazinepublished: November 2, 2016
A group of leading voices in global science and sustainability have launched the first magazine focused on the challenges facing humanity as we enter a new epoch, the Anthropocene.
Anthropocene: Innovation in a Human Age was introduced on 17 October at the United Nations Habitat III summit in Quito, Ecuador. The digital, print and live magazine provides a forum for the leading thinkers on global sustainability.
“We want to explore solutions. How can human innovation create a world we actually want to live in?” said Editor-in-Chief Kathy Kohm. “It is a magazine for anyone who wants to learn what’s next in sustainability—from technological, cultural, and economic solutions that solve global problems in counter intuitive ways to new approaches for thinking about humanity’s place on the planet.”
Anthropocene magazine is published by the Future Earth Media Lab, a collaboration between leading international research organizations Future Earth and the International Council for Science (ICSU), as well as the design group Globaïa. Anthropocene’s launch team includes pioneering science journalists Frances Cairncross, former editor at The Economist, and Andrew Revkin, creator of New York Times’ Dot Earth blog.
The first issue of Anthropocene was introduced at the Habitat III, the largest summit on cities in United Nations history (17-20 October). Cities are the quintessential habitat of the Anthropocene. As such, the issue features articles by leading science journalists exploring urban sustainability—including long reads about how driver-less cars will profoundly transform urban landscapes, how public art generates clean electricity and water, and why recycling may not be the best solution to the global e-waste problem.
Also in the issue, Cairncross considers the best ways to roll out carbon taxes and research subsidies to speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy; renowned Indian science fiction writer Vandana Singh muses on how a literary genre might help humanity to chart a path forward; and Revkin traces both the roots and the potential trajectories of our momentous Anthropocene journey.
“This will start a global conversation that is long overdue. We’re very excited about the magazine,” says Josh Tewksbury, Director of Future Earth’s global hub in Colorado and the Executive Editor of Anthropocene. “Independent journalism is a critical tool for generating the knowledge needed for global sustainability.”
Anthropocene’s world-class journalism will take many forms—ranging from daily coverage of compelling new research to interactive digital features and high-end print editions. The team also plans to take select stories from page to stage through a live event series called “The Anthropocene Dialogues.”
Funding comes from the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and sponsors. Organizations can support an editorial beat or a print issue. Individuals can become supporting members and receive print issues and exclusive benefits such as conversations with authors.
“This is a community of like-minded people who clearly want to pursue a least-regrets path through this journey we’re on,” says Revkin, who is also a member of the Anthropocene Working Group, the 35-person team of experts assessing and compiling evidence that humans have indeed spawned a new chapter in the Geological Time Scale. “But we want to build a community that reflects the inherent diversity of human experiences and aspirations. And I can’t think of a place out there in the media landscape that’s like that.”
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Future Earth is an international research organization that seeks to build the knowledge needed to support transformations to a sustainable world. The Future Earth Media Lab is an incubator for innovative projects at the boundary between science and society: new media, data visualization, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and more in the service of sustainability.
About Our Name: The Anthropocene (ˈanTHrəpəˌsēn/) defines Earth’s most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans. The word combines the root “anthropo-,” meaning “human,” with the root “-cene,” the standard suffix for “epoch” in geologic time. Source: The Encyclopedia of Earth. The International Commission on Stratigraphy is currently reviewing the Anthropocene proposal.