Archives at the National Centre for Biological Sciences
Public Lecture Series
Monthly talks framed around explorations in and around histories of science. Discussions by archivists, historians, teachers, journalists, scientists, artists and others. 
History, Ecology and the Future
Ashoka University 
Friday, 4pm, Jul 12 2019
Lecture Hall-1 (Haapus), NCBS
The epochal shifts we are living through at a planet-wide level in ecological terms need little by way of elaboration. Yet journeys to a better future are best begun by asking where and how we got to this turn in the road. The wealth of material and archival evidence and lived experience of human societies can help pose the question of questions. Can there be meaningful thinking of ways for a habitable safe and productive planet with 190 plus nations and seven billion humans. History, the study of the past, and ecology, the study of nature’s function and structure, have one thing in common: they cannot predict the future. But both are indispensable in preparing for it.
Mahesh Rangarajan is Professor of History at Ashoka University, with a focus in environmental history and colonial history of British India. Prior to this, he served as Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi (2011-2015). He was also Professor in Modern Indian History at University of Delhi (2007-2011) and taught at the universities of Cornell and Jadavpur and at NCBS, where he helped design courses in wildlife conservation. He graduated with a BA in History from Hindu College, University of Delhi and an MA and D.Phil from Oxford University, where he received the Rhodes Scholarship between 1986-89. Rangarajan is the author/editor of more than a dozen books including, most recently, Shifting Ground: People, Animals and Mobility in India’s Environmental History (2014) and At Nature’s Edge: The Global Present and Long-Term History (2018). Bio source