Nobel Conference 54

Living Soil: A Universe Underfoot
October 2 & 3, 2018

Scoop up some soil in your hands and consider there are more organisms in that handful of soil than humans who have ever lived. Soil is a living entity in its own right, a community of micro- and macro-organisms that interact with the earth’s mineral resources to create this complex entity that undergirds all life on the planet. The 54th Nobel Conference, Living Soil: A Universe Underfoot, invites participants to consider the vast diversity and complexity of soil, and to ponder the challenges we face in protecting this most fundamental resource.

What is soil health, and what processes sustain healthy soils? What interactions connect the living entities in the soil, and how do these interactions shape natural systems? How will climate change affect soils, and (how) can soils be used to mitigate rising levels of carbon in the atmosphere? How do we develop sustainable agricultural practices that will protect against soil erosion and promote soil health? How might we best promote exploration of beneficial compounds from soils? How might we re-imagine our relationship to soil culturally and socially, as well as biologically? These are just some of the questions that Nobel Conference 54 will address.

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Presenters


Raymond Archuleta

Raymond Archuleta
Conservation Agronomist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
"Ray the Soil Guy"

 
Jack Gilbert

Jack Gilbert
Professor, Department of Surgery; The Committee on Microbiology; Group Leader, The Committee on Microbiology, University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory; Named one of the "Brilliant Ten" by Popular Science Magazine in 2015

 
David Montgomery

David Montgomery
Professor of Earth and Space Sciences
University of Washington
Author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and The Hidden Half of Nature
MacArthur Fellow in 2008

 
Frank Uekotter

Frank Uekotter
Reader, Environmental Humanities 
University of Birmingham
Author of The Green and the Brown: A History of Conservation in Nazi Germany

Claire Chenu

Claire Chenu
Professor of Soil Science
AgroParisTech
United Nations Special Ambassador for the International Year of Soils 2015

 
Rattan Lal

Rattan Lal
Professor of Soil Sciences
The Ohio State University
Member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007

 
Suzanne Simard

Suzanne Simard
Professor of Forest Ecology
University of British Columbia
Featured in the documentary “Intelligent Trees”

Core endowment funding for the Nobel Conference was permanently secured through the generosity of the late Adeline and the Rev. Drell Bernhardson. The conference is also supported by major legacy gifts and annual contributors. 2018 principal contributors include Heroic Productions and General Mills.

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