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Extinctions: Present and Future

Watch: Extinctions: Present and Future

Coming to the end of the course, we have shifted our gaze from the long distant past, towards the present and future. From my guests in this last week, we have heard details about human impacts on a variety of biota and species. We know that we are reaching a crisis point which many scientists believe are the warning signs of planetary stress.

As the dominant species today, we should see ourselves as earth stewards – taking care our environment so that it can sustain future generations of our species. As John Anderson said in week three, if we cause a ‘sixth extinction’, the planet will survive, but many, many species will not, including possibly our own.

But it is not too late to act, and our guests this week all spoke passionately about how individual actions can help to bring about change – whether this is monitoring the fish you buy to reducing the waste and pollution.

I hope you have enjoyed the course and the discussions. If you are interested in more, I have provided a few articles for further reading below. Aside from my ongoing scholarly work, I have previously written two popular science books, as well as several popular science articles. You may find my books, Fossils for Africa (published by Cambridge University Press) and Famous Dinosaurs of Africa offer useful complements to this course.

We hope you will leave us feedback below and if you enjoyed the course, tell others about it! Please post a review on Class Central, a website which has lists of all the free online courses available. This helps others find out about the course. Thanks for those whose reviews have helped place ‘Extinction: Past and Present’ on Class Central’s list of the top 100 MOOCs of all time.

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Extinctions: Past and Present

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