Fossil Cities: A Live Interview with Geologist Jan Zalasiewicz, Author of “The Earth After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks?”

Hosted by Alexis Madrigal of Wired Science and Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


December 18, 2008 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)

BLDGBLOG and Wired Science have teamed up with swissnex San Francisco to host a live interview with geologist Jan Zalasiewicz, author of The Earth After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks? from Oxford University Press

Zalasiewicz’s book offers a fascinating and sustained look at what will happen to the material artifacts of human civilization 100 million years from now, when cities like Manhattan are mere trace fossils in flooded submarinescapes, Amsterdam is an indecipherably fragmentary presence in the lithified mudflats of a new, future continent, and cities like Los Angeles and Zurich have been eroded away entirely by a hundred million years of rockslides and weather.

To quote an early chapter from Zalasiewicz’s book at great length: The surface of the Earth is no place to preserve deep history. This is in spite of – and in large part because of – the many events that have taken place on it. The surface of the future Earth, one hundred million years now, will not have preserved evidence of contemporary human activity. One can be quite categorical about this. Whatever arrangement of oceans and continents, or whatever state of cool or warmth will exist then, the Earth’s surface will have been wiped clean of human traces.


7:00 pm doors open
7:15 pm interview, Q&A;
8:15 pm networking, light food
9:00 pm doors close


Photo: Myleen Hollero