Arlington County, Virginia News

For Immediate Release

Monday, October 02, 2006

Gaia Theory Conference at George Mason University Law School

Internationally Known Scientists Gather in Arlington

Contact: Martin Ogle, 703-528-5406 or at

ARLINGTON, Va – Internationally known scientists, including Lynn Margulis, a long-time advocate of the Gaia Theory, a scientific view of the Earth as a living system, will gather October 14-15 at George Mason University in Arlington to explore “The Gaia Theory: Model & Metaphor for the 21st Century.”              

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, in conjunction with George Mason University, is hosting the two-day conference, which offers an unusual opportunity to hear from the nation's preeminent experts on Gaia Theory. The conference includes scientific presentations, panel discussions, a teacher workshop, a reception and a concert. Arlington County and many other organizations are co-sponsors.

Margulis, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University Massachusetts, is a keynote speaker.

Other speakers include:

-         Tyler Volk, co-director of the Earth and Environmental Science program at New York University

-         Dr. Donald Aitken, principal of Donald Aitken Associates

-         Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, conservation biologist and President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

-         J. Baird Callicot, environmental ethicist

“It is fitting that this conference be held in Arlington, the national headquarters for the National Science Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, and other scientific organizations,” said Arlington County Board Vice Chairman Paul Ferguson, a conference panelist. “This body of scientific knowledge allows us to better understand our Earth and humanity’s relationship to the living system of our planet. I am sure these speakers will give us great ideas that we can use both as individuals and in implementing future policies.”

Ferguson will participate in a panel discussion review of the entire conference, at 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 in the "Old Building" at George Mason University Law School, 3301 Fairfax Dr., Arlington.

The base fee for the conference is $130, which includes all conference activities, breakfasts, breaks and reception. Optional box lunches may also be purchased. For further information, or to register for the conference, visit


The Gaia Theory posits that organic and inorganic components of Earth operate together as a single living system that is self-generating and self-regulating. This living system automatically controls global temperature, atmospheric content, ocean salinity, and other factors in a manner that enables life to continue. In this respect, the Earth is like an individual organism that regulates body temperature, blood salinity, etc.  The theory offers an interdisciplinary context for understanding life on our planet.


Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.

Last Modified: September 13, 2007
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