Soldered by Slime: An Unnatural History of the Oolite


Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 12:30 to 14:00


Buchanan Tower 1197
1873 E Mall
V6T 1Z1 Vancouver , BC


Naturalists and scholars from Paracelsus to Hooke to contemporary geologists have been at a loss as to whether spherical sand-like entities named “ooids” (or their fossilized forms, oolites) are inorganic minerals or living organisms, even organic microcosms. Found in locales from the Bahamian seas to Arctic stones to British tea kettles, ooids have long animated debates about what qualities define life – form or substance, self-organization or metabolic self-sufficiency. In this talk, ooids will for the first time speak for themselves, offering a longue durée account of both life on this planet and scientific inquiries into the ontologies of these dubiously living stones.
This is the fifth talk in the UBC History Department's Colloquium Series 2017 - 2018, Histories on the Edge.

About the Presenter

Dr. Sophia Roosth is the Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor in the History of Science at Harvard University.