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Jun 29, 2020
Sonia Shah (livestream)
The Next Great Migration

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Due to health concerns, this event is being presented in a livestream-only format, to be broadcast on this page as well as YouTube and Facebook.
Monday, June 29, 2020, 6:00PM

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Migration is an essential part of history for animals, plants, and humans, yet it is often framed as dangerous and destructive. Prize-winning journalist Sonia Shah joins us to upend our centuries-long assumptions about migration—predicting its lifesaving power in the face of climate change.

Drawing from topics discussed in her book The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move, Shah suggests that the belief that current migration patterns are unprecedented has led the news media to provoke alarm at the perceived spread of disease and conflict, when the science and history tell a strikingly different story. Climate changes triggered the first human migrations, migrations which created the biological, cultural, and social diversity that ecosystems and societies depend upon. Using a combination of science, history, and reporting, she asserts that far from being a disruptive behavior to be quelled, migration is an ancient and lifesaving response to environmental and biological change. Join Shah as she chronicles migration misinformation from the 18th century through today’s anti-immigration policies—and makes the case for a future in which migration is not a source of fear, but of hope.

Sonia Shah is an investigative science journalist and prize-winning author. Her writing on science, politics, and human rights has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American, and she has been featured on CNN, RadioLab, FreshAir, and TED.com. She is the author of several books, including Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Coronaviruses and Beyond and The Fever.


Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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