Anthropocene: The human age

Momentum is building to establish a new geological epoch that recognizes humanity’s impact on the planet. But there is fierce debate behind the scenes. Almost all the dinosaurs have vanished from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. The fossil hall is now mostly empty and painted in deep shadows as palaeobiologist Scott Wing wanders through the cavernous room.

Wing is part of a team carrying out a radical, US$45-million redesign of the exhibition space, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. And when it opens again in 2019, it will exhibit the Anthropocene — the slice of Earth’s history during which people have become a major geological force.

Anthropocene: The human age, by Richard Monastersky, Nature 519, 144-147 (12 March 2015)

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