June 21, 2024

How Artists and Scientists Could Work to Mitigate Climate Change

"Woolly Mammoth" by rpongsaj is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Are dinosaurs returning to end the climate crisis? In reality, no, but researchers have reimagined how extinct animals such as the woolly mammoth can put a stop to environmental issues such as climate change. De-evolution combines high tech engineering with environmental causes by using DNA samples to bring to life previously extinct animals such as the woolly mammoth. In an unusual twist, Allison Carruth combines her humanities background with environmental studies to foster interdisciplinary research into how engineering can change the future of climate control.

“Exotic functioning societies work better than normal forests because technology engineers better futures,” said Carruth, a professor at Princeton University. She plans to establish an environmental media lab that will serve as an incubator for the future of conservation and technology. Carruth said she hopes to integrate professionals in the fields of humanities with scientists and engineers to conceptualize new solutions to climate control.

Carruth’s research follows the concept that biotech, or technology based on the biology of living things, is necessary for an ecologically stable future. This means that with a little work, the animals of the past can soon become the animals of today. Carruth believes that with help from artists and journalists, environmentalists will be able to properly inform society of the benefits of de-evolution. By combining technology and the humanities with the environment by use of scientific journalists, we can become highly effective storytellers in regards to the future of the climate.

Carruth said her research taps “the power of individuals to conduct their own education, find their own inspiration, shape their own environment and share this adventure with whoever is interested.”

The importance of this research stems from the fact that professionals in the field of the arts and humanities are an unorthodox, but necessary, addition to science and technology. Carruth explained in an interview with Jamie Saxon at the Office of Communications at Princeton that her “hope is that the environmental media lab will support students, artists, journalists, community leaders and others in communicating diverse knowledge about pressing environmental problems and in imagining more just and livable futures.” Carruth said she plans to include professionals in the field of humanities including artists, writers, and journalists who also envision a future teeming with wildlife of human design.

Carruth aspires to break the barrier between science and the arts. While genetic resurrection research is already underway, Carruth’s goal is to include more journalists and artists into the conversation. She believes that the combination of the two fields is what will really begin our deeper understanding of de-evolution and climate control.