Environmental educator David W. Orr will present this year's Stonecipher Lecture on Science and Society at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, in Cookeville. The talk will be held in the Millard Oakley STEM Center auditorium.
Orr's presentation, entitled "Black Swans and Local Resilience," is described as a wide-ranging and provocative talk on economics, climate change, culture, politics and the future of humanity. The Black Swan Theory proposes that nearly all major events in history -- from the invention of the Internet to the terrorist attacks of 9/11-- were undirected and unpredictable. Organizers of the Cookeville event say Orr has a gift for distilling current environmental issues and offering tangible solutions. He has proposed the goal of carbon neutrality for colleges and universities, and is also active in efforts to stop what's called "mountaintop removal" mining. Orr says he wants to develop a new economy based on ecological restoration and wind energy. The Stonecipher Lecture, which is free and open to the public, was created to fund the appearance of leading scholars and thinkers to address the interrelationships between science and contemporary society.