Support The World's Smartest Network

Help the New York Academy of Sciences bring late-breaking scientific information about the COVID-19 pandemic to global audiences. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.


This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

We encourage you to learn more about cookies on our site in our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

Creating the Next Conservation Movement — Or Do We Even Need One?


for Members

Creating the Next Conservation Movement — Or Do We Even Need One?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The New York Academy of Sciences

"Conservation" and "environmentalism" are in danger of becoming our grandparents’ words. The environment ranks close to the bottom when Americans are polled about their top concerns, and the percentage of those who identify themselves as conservationists has slipped substantially in the last five years. How can we build a new U.S. conservation and environmental movement to meet the challenges of the new century...or is the desire to mainstream environmentalism just a symptom of the problem?


Registration Pricing

Student / Postdoc / Fellow Member$0
Student / Postdoc / Fellow Nonmember$10


Presented by

This event is part of the Discourses on Nature and Society Series

In this four-part series, the New York Academy of Sciences and the The Nature Conservancy explore the relationship between conservation and our increasingly urban existence.

Other upcoming events in this series:
Energy for the Next 20 Years: Protecting the Environment and Meeting Our Demands, January 12, 2012
Nature and the City: What Good is Urban Conservation?, April 16, 2012
Beyond Ideology: How Should We Feed Ourselves if We Care About Nature?, May 8, 2012

Package pricing available at a discounted rate.

Learn more about the series.



David Owen

The New Yorker

David Owen has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1991. He’s the author of more than a dozen books, the most recent of which are Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability, and The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse.


Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus

Breakthrough Institute

Nordhaus and Shellenberger are leading global thinkers on energy, climate, security, human development, and politics. Their 2007 book Break Through was called "prescient" by Time and "the most important thing to happen to environmentalism since Silent Spring" by Wired. (An excerpt in the The New Republic can be read here.) Their 2004 essay, "The Death of Environmentalism," was featured on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, sparked a national debate, and inspired a generation of young environmentalists.

Over the years, the two have been profiled in the New York Times, Wired, the National Review, The New Republic, and on NPR. In 2007, they received the Green Book Award and Time magazine's 2008 "Heroes of the Environment" award.

In 2011, Nordhaus and Shellenberger started the Breakthrough Journal, which The New Republic called "among the most complete answers" to the question of how to modernize liberal thought, and the National Review called "the most promising effort at self-criticism by our liberal cousins in a long time."

Shellenberger and Nordhaus are leaders of a paradigm shift in climate and energy policy. They proposed "making clean energy cheap" in The Harvard Law and Policy Review, explained why the Kyoto climate treaty failed in Democracy Journal, and predicted the bursting of the green bubble in The New Republic and Los Angeles Times. The two predicted the failure of cap and trade in the American Prospect, criticized "green jobs" in The New Republic, and pointed a way forward for climate policy in the Wall Street Journal.

The two have written on intellectual property for Slate, counter-terrorism for Roll Call, the end of the war on terror for The Atlantic, and modernization as a new ecological theology for Orion. The full list of their published articles can be accessed here.

Ted Nordhaus is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Michael Shellenberger is a graduate of Earlham College and holds a masters degree in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. The two live in the Bay Area and travel widely.


The Nature Conservancy

Sanjayan's scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature, and Conservation Biology, and he co-edited the book Connectivity Conservation (Cambridge University Press, 2006). He frequently speaks at internationally recognized venues, including the World Forum on Sustainable Development, International Women’s Forum, and TED Global 2010. He is a Catto Fellow with the Aspen Institute.

Sanjayan’s work has received extensive print media coverage — from Vanity Fair to National Geographic Adventure, Outside to The New York Times. In 2007, he was named and featured as one of Men’s Journal's “Heroes of 2007.” He is a frequent guest on NBC’s Today Show and has appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

He has also co-hosted documentaries for the Discovery Channel (Mysteries of the Shark Coast, Expedition Alaska), BBC (Wildlife in a War-Zone), and featured in National Geographic TV (Earth Report 2009). His newest effort, hosting a four-part series on energy for Discovery Channel (Powering the Future) is scheduled to air July 2010.

When not at work, Sanjayan can be found either trekking in Africa or fly-fishing in Western Montana, where he tries to live.

Awards: Catto Fellow, Aspen Institute; Past Elected Governor Society for Conservation Biology

Gernot Wagner

Environmental Defense Fund

Gernot Wagner is the author of But Will the Planet Notice? How Smart Economics Can Save the World (Hill & Wang / Farrar Strauss & Giroux 2011). He serves as an economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, teaches at Columbia, and graduated from Harvard and Stanford. He doesn't eat meat, doesn't drive, and knows full well the futility of his personal choices.

Hazel Wong

The Nature Conservancy

Hazel Wong is an internal consultant to the Nature Conservancy chapters and their partners across the country to develop legislative and ballot campaigns aimed at creating funding for conservation at the state and local levels. Using polling, strategic message development and political campaign tactics, she creates a groundswell of public support for conservation funding and policy initiatives. She has a Bachelor's degree in Communications from California State University–Fullerton in Fullerton, California and a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada–Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor
New York, NY 10007-2157

Directions to the Academy

Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

Recommended partner hotel

Club Quarters, World Trade Center
140 Washington Street
New York, NY 10006
Phone: 212.577.1133

The New York Academy of Sciences is a member of the Club Quarters network, which offers significant savings on hotel reservations to member organizations. Located opposite Memorial Plaza on the south side of the World Trade Center, Club Quarters, World Trade Center is just a short walk to the Academy.

Use Club Quarters Reservation Password NYAS to reserve your discounted accommodations online.

Other nearby hotels

Millenium Hilton


Marriott Financial Center


Club Quarters, Wall Street


Eurostars Wall Street Hotel


Gild Hall, Financial District


Wall Street Inn


Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park