Taunton School students were privileged to meet award winning author, journalist and broadcaster Gaia Vince recently when she visited the school to give a talk on ‘Entering the Anthropocene’.
The Anthropocene, meaning the proposed geological timescale of significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems, was the hot topic that Gaia Vince was focussing on.
Six Year 11 students (Alice McVicar, Tamsin Peto-Dias, Jess Stacey, Josh Cummings, Stephen Cao and Daniel Lloyd-Jones) had the opportunity to ask questions to the environmental and science journalist in the school theatre and received far-reaching and thought provoking responses. Discussions included the possibility of using geo-engineering (mirrors on Earth or in space) to reflect the sun’s incoming radiation and whether urbanisation can be viewed as a positive process as the issues humans cause are more easily managed in a confined space.
Year 11 student Jessica Stacey commented that: “It was a new and intriguing experience that very much changed my view on the modern world.” Daniel Lloyd-Jones added: “I was fascinated by the fact that evolution is happening as we speak since animals are adapting to live in man-made habitats such as cities.”
Prior to the talk, Gaia also hosted a workshop for selected Year 10 (and 11) students which delved a little deeper into the conflict between tourism and conservation in the Anthropocene (centred on a village on the pacific Costa Rican coast called Ostianal). The students were treated to first-hand knowledge by Gaia and also took on the challenge of a role play activity simulating some of the issues with great gusto.
Edward Cousins, a year 10 pupil said: “The experience was extremely inspiring and it showed us the controversial outlook on some of the issues in the world and how they could affect future generations.”
Gaia Vince’s visit was arranged as part of Geography and Science lecture for Year 10 and 11 Taunton School students.