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The role of 80-million year-old rocks in American slavery — Lewis Dartnell at The Interval

by Ahmed Kabil on December 4th, 02019

When cretaceous-age rocks in the Southern US eroded over millions of years, they produced a uniquely rich, fertile soil that landowners realized was ideal for growing cash crops such as cotton. It was the soil from these rocks that slaves toiled over in the era of American slavery—and the same ground that ultimately became the epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement.

From Lewis Dartnell’s talk at The Interval, “ORIGINS: How Earth’s history shaped human history.”

About the talk

From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, the human story is the story of environmental forces, from plate tectonics and climate change, to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents.

Professor Lewis Dartnell will dive into the planet’s deep past, where history becomes science, to explore a web of connections that underwrites our modern world, and that can help us face the challenges of the future.

About Lewis Dartnell

Lewis Dartnell is a Professor of Science Communication at the University of Westminster. Before that, he completed his biology degree at the University of Oxford and his PhD at UCL, and then worked as the UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester, studying astrobiology and searching for signs of life on Mars. He has won several awards for his science writing and contributes to the Guardian, The Times, and New Scientist. He is also the author of three books. He lives in London, UK.