John Evelyn's 'Sylva' and the origins of the modern sustainability discourse

John Evelyn

Public history of science lecture by Ulrich Grober.

Event details

Ulrich Grober is a journalist and author of Sustainability: a cultural history (Totnes, 2012).

The idea of sustainability has deep roots in practically all cultures of the world. The term itself, however, so familiar in today's global vocabulary, was shaped in the 17th century European discourse on timber shortage. Initiated by the newly-established Royal Society and its founding member John Evelyn, this discourse soon spread to the continent. It paved the way to a new approach to the management of forests. In Germany it led to the coining of the new term "nachhaltig" (i.e. sustaining, sustainable). Its first use dates back to 1713, 300 years ago this year. In this lecture, the German author Ulrich Grober takes us on an exciting journey back to the historical sources. They shed a new light on the essence of our modern-day concept of sustainability, which is often diluted and distorted, but might still prove to be the key to human survival in the 21st century.

Attending this event

This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12.30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

We have a limited number of spaces for wheelchair users and ten bookable seats for people with impaired mobility who are unable to queue. To book in advance, please contact the events team. Further information about accessibility is available.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days after the event.

Enquiries: Contact the events team

John Evelyn's 'Sylva' and the origins of the modern sustainability discourse 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

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