In a modern capitalist society, is something without an ascribed monetary value considered worthless?
Phrases such as ‘natural capital’ and ‘ecosystem services’ are increasingly used within the environmental sector as part of a sustained attempt to assign monetary values to nature's services. Considering the practical and ethical dilemmas around this, what conceptual, methodological and moral challenges are there in pricing nature?
Professor Kathy Willis, CBE, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and recently appointed Principal of St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, will open this debate at this year's Burntwood Lecture.
During her time at Kew, Kathy spearheaded the launch of Kew’s Science Strategy 2015-2020. She also previously held the Tasso Leventis Chair of Biodiversity at Oxford and was founding Director of the Oxford Martin School Biodiversity Institute.
Kathy’s research interests focus on the relationship between long-term ecosystem dynamics and environmental change. Kathy has published extensively authoring over 100 scientific publications, including the landmark book The Evolution of Plants, now in its second edition and several popular Science books, including Plants: From Roots to Riches and Botanicum. She explored the importance of plants through the BBC Radio 4 series Plants: From Roots to Riches.
In August 2015, Kathy was awarded the prestigious Michael Faraday Prize by the Royal Society for her excellent work in science communication and, in February 2016, was appointed to the Natural Capital Committee, an independent advisory body to the UK Government, which will take forward the implementation of the new 25-year Environment Plan.
Kathy was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in June 2018.
The Burntwood Lecture provides an opportunity for an eminent speaker to talk on a current, critical and often controversial environmental theme. The invited audience, numbering around 150, come from the environmental professions, universities and government. The evening includes canapés, drinks and plenty of opportunities to network.
Attendance is free for IES Members and invited guests, but places are limited. Members may bring a guest but must register them upon booking. We anticipate a lot of interest for this fabulous speaker, so book early to avoid disappointment. Use Password: IESBURNT2018 when prompted.
18:15 - Registration and drinks
19:00 - Welcome
19:10 - The Burntwood Lecture, with Professor Kathy Willis, CBE
19:55 - Q&A Session
20:15 - Canapés, drinks, mingle
21.30 - Close
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