How Lynn Margulis rocked the boat and started a scientific revolution
Tuesday 11 December
Film starts at 6.30pm [duration 147 minutes] with guest speaker
A London LASER / Serpentine Cinema* special screening of John Feldman’s incredible documentary exploring the life and ideas of Lynn Margulis, a scientific rebel who challenged entrenched theories of evolution to present a new narrative: life evolves through collaboration.
This event is free but booking is required. Book here:
Symbiotic Earth explores the life and ideas of Lynn Margulis, a scientific rebel who challenged entrenched theories of evolution to present a new narrative: life evolves through collaboration.
“One of the most important biographies of the last 50 years…Everyone who is interested in living things, evolution, or the environment must watch this.”
Perry Marshall, author, Evolution 2.0
“The film bursts with footage of one of the most important biologists since Darwin…We have from Lynn, so vividly present in this film, an account of how evolutionary novelty emerges in the drama of cellular symbiosis. This is the drama of life’s history and the narrative of its ongoing possibilities.”
Dr. Donna Haraway, Professor Emerita of the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, University of California – Santa Cruz
SYMBIOTIC EARTH explores the life and ideas of Lynn Margulis, a brilliant and radical scientist, whose unconventional theories challenged the male-dominated scientific community and are today fundamentally changing how we look at our selves, evolution, and the environment.
As a young scientist in the 1960s, Margulis was ridiculed when she first proposed that symbiosis was a key driver of evolution, but she persisted. Instead of the mechanistic view that life evolved through random genetic mutations and competition, she presented a symbiotic narrative in which bacteria joined together to create the complex cells that formed animals, plants and all other organisms – which together form a multi-dimensional living entity that covers the Earth. Humans are not the pinnacle of life with the right to exploit nature, but part of this complex cognitive system in which each of our actions has repercussions.
Filmmaker John Feldman traveled globally to meet Margulis’ cutting-edge colleagues and continually asked: What happens when the truth changes? SYMBIOTIC EARTH examines the worldview that has led to climate change and extreme capitalism and offers a new approach to understanding life that encourages a sustainable and symbiotic lifestyle.
*This event is a collaboration between London LASER Labs and the Serpentine’s General Ecology project, the galleries’ long-term, ongoing commitment to complex systems, interspecies landscapes and environmental questions, which manifests through research, publications, exhibitions, study programmes, radio and events.
What people have said about the film…
“Funny, uplifting, inspiring, intellectually alive, refreshing, challenging and wonderfully informative…This is a movie about a hero and role model for us all…A brilliant description of an enigma, painstakingly untangled and clearly laid out for us all. There are many multifold delights in this film, packed with surprising revelations. It is both intensely personal and broadly insightful! I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
Dr. Frederic B. Jennings Jr., President, Center for Ecological Economic and Ethical Education
“An astonishingly important, deeply transformative, and original film – historic in fact. Its momentous news that all biological life (including ours) succeeds not by competition but by collaboration offers ways to resolve even our devastating global climate emergency.”
Bill Blakemore, Veteran foreign and domestic correspondent, ABC News
“A great undertaking! Symbiotic Earth is a vivid portrait of a bold scientist who took us to an understanding of evolution very different than any previous one. This film represents an effervescent intelligence leading the way to a revolution in understanding life on Earth.”
Thomas E. Lovejoy, ‘The Godfather of Biodiversity,’ Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
“A life-changing and even world-changing documentary…It is mind-blowing yet down to earth. Who we are, what we are, how we are, this film is the key for the door to the world.”
Miaw Ler Sim, student of Medical Anthropology, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University
“The ideas of the late biologist Lynn Margulis are groundbreaking, even breathtaking in their boldness…Revolution is a strong word, but that is what many commentators say Dr. Margulis started in multiple areas of biology, from evolution to genetics to microbiology to ecology, taking broader and more comprehensive views of organisms and their interactions.”
Jim Hobbs, Educational Media Reviews Online
“A wonderful film – Symbiotic Earth brings biology to life! This documentary is a concise history of evolutionary biology, a fascinating case study in shifting scientific paradigms, and an informative portrait of the remarkable Lynn Margulis.”
Curt Meine, Senior Fellow, Center for Humans and Nature, The Aldo Leopold Foundation, Author, Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work
“Symbiotic Earth conveys one of the most important biographies of the last 50 years. It’s no exaggeration to say that Lynn Margulis’ contribution to science is in the same league as Jim Watson, Francis Crick, Stephen Hawking and Barbara McClintock…Everyone who is interested in living things, evolution, or the environment must watch this.”
Perry Marshall, Author, Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design
“Symbiotic Earth chronicles the brilliant conceptual achievements and exuberant life of Lynn Margulis, the thinker who revolutionized evolutionary biology with her theories of symbiogenesis and Gaia. The documentary footage and first-hand accounts of Margulis’s vibrant personality and ideas alone make this a must-watch film for students of both the life sciences and the history of science.”
Dr. Sophia Roosth, Associate Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University, Author, Synthetic: How Life Got Made