News Article

24th Jun 2019

How the Earth made us: Astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell reveals the ultimate origins story

When we talk about human history, we focus on great leaders, mass migration and decisive wars. But how has the Earth itself determined our destiny? In his upcoming talk at Keswick's Theatre by the Lake on Sun 7 July, Astrobiologist and broadcaster Lewis Dartnell will tell the ultimate origins story, journeying billions of years into our planet's distant past to unveil the fascinating web of connections which underwrites the modern world.

The talk, accompanying his recently released book and Sunday Times Bestseller, Origins: How the Earth Made Us, reveals how we as a species are shaped by our environment.

Geological forces drove our evolution in East Africa; mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece; and today voting behaviour in the United States follows the bed of an ancient sea.

Asking the big questions and setting out to challenge much of the conventional thought over our own self-determination and destiny, Lewis Dartnell reveals that the human story is the story of these forces.

From plate tectonics and climate change, to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents, his gripping and enlightening discussion, described as a ‘thrilling delight' by The Sunday Times, will cover topics as wide as the formation of the Himalayas to the cultivation of the first crops and founding of the modern-day states.

Dartnell, a regular columnist on the BBC's popular Sky at Night, will also turn his gaze to the long-term survival of our species by using this scientific exploration into our planet's history to inform and overcome the challenges of the future. He will sensitively ponder how long exploitation can continue on a finite planet, and eloquently argue about how we should think carefully about humanity's future.

Audiences can expect an entertaining evening of superb connectivity as Dartnell impressively weaves the scientific disciplines of geology, geography, anthropology, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and history together to jaw-dropping effect.

His talk, on Sun 7 July at 7.30pm, is part of the regular Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) series of talks at the lakeside venue and tickets cost £15 - £10 (RGS-IBG members £9.50); Students £7.50. To find out more visit or call the Box Office on 017687 74411.
For further information or images, contact Lucy Preston on or 017687 81107.

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