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Event Details

Paul R Ehrlich: Mass Extinction and Collapse

20 November 2019
6.30pm – 7.30pm AEDT
Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Sydney
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collapse earth

Is there still time to save our planet, or is ecological bankruptcy inevitable? 

For decades, scientists have been warning us about damage to our ecosystems and impending climate catastrophe, but those in positions of power have failed to act. As extinctions accelerate and the devastating impact of human activity on the environment becomes clear, have we finally reached a tipping point?

Ecologist Paul Ehrlich believes Earth’s capacity to maintain life as we know it is under threat, as we live through the “sixth mass extinction”. He insists scientists should “tell it like it is” and become catalysts for social and political change. So, is there still time to save our planet or is ecological bankruptcy inevitable? 

Chaired by Richard Kingsford, Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science, UNSW Sydney.

This event is presented the UNSW Centre for Ideas and supported by UNSW Science.


Wheelchair Accessible

Leighton Hall is located inside the John Niland Scientia Building at UNSW Sydney's Kensington campus, G19 on this map (PDF). If you are traveling via the University Mall, there is a lift to the right of the large set of steps at the John Niland Scientia Building. There is ramp access to Leighton Hall via the Scientia Lawn. You can be dropped off close to this ramp. Vehicles need to arrive via Botany street, Gate 11 and drive down Library Walk. The closest accessible parking is available in the Barker Street Parking Station (N18 on map). 

Hearing Loop Available


The Centre for Ideas can provide Auslan interpreting services for selected talks upon request. 


To discuss your access requirements and to book selected access services, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9385 9844 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9385 9844. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9385 9844. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 02 9385 9844.

Paul R. Ehrlich

Paul R Ehrlich

Paul R Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus and President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University. His 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb was the catalyst for modern environmental concerns about over-population. He has continued to research and publish widely on topics in population biology, ecology, evolution, human ecology, and environmental science. His current interest includes studying ways of shifting human behaviour to foster environmental sustainability.  

Richard Kingsford

Richard Kingsford

Professor Richard Kingsford is a conservation biologist who has worked extensively across the wetlands and rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin. He has also worked with many different communities and governments across this region. His research has influenced the policy and management of rivers and wetlands. He is currently the Director for the Centre for Ecosystem Science at UNSW Sydney.

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