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  • Foto van schrijverPalaeontologica Belgica



On December the 19th 2023, we welcome you all at the Aula Q auditorium of the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) for a unique evening where paleontology in general and dinosaurs in particular, are at the center of attention. This event, organised by Palaeontologica Belgica in collaboration with the VUB, aims to promote paleontological research and critical thinking as promoted by the P.A.C.T. initiative: The (Caroline) Pauwels Academy of Critical Thinking. By inviting a range of international speakers from across the globe, we try to invite the audience into the world of paleontology, discuss the ecosystems and dynamics that ruled our planet many milion years ago, and at the same time, offer an introspective into today's ecological revolutions by understanding and questioning the things we see around us. Combined with our knowledge of the geological past, we hope to offer the audience an introspective view on life in this day and age.

Citizen science

Today more than ever we find ourselves within the midst of the second largest paleontological renaissance. Never before have extinct animals, dinosaurs especially become, part of our everyday lives as will be illustrated during the event by journalist Harald Scheerlinck. Also the amount of people contributing to paleontological research has never been greater. And although paleontology is not a science that generates huge profits, or any profits at all, generations of people are fascinated by the remains of life on earth even long before the dawn of mankind. So how is it possible that a science who has always struggled to find means of funding is so popular? Certainly the fantastic aspect of giant reptiles ruling the earth is a way of escaping reality and finding ourselves caught in fantastic alien-like worlds far aways from the reality we know today. Being able to find the remnants of these ancient dynasties under our feet and even up in the skies only makes this fantastic world more tactile and ever-so intriguing to many people. And because paleontology is a science who benefits from passionate researchers, we will also be focussing on how you can contribute to important research yourself, without necessarily having an academic degree in geology, biology or paleontology. Citizen scientists and paleontology enthusiast can make very important contributions to our knowledge of ancient worlds as will be explained by Palaeontologica Belgica's president and organiser: Anthonie Hellemond

Rise and fall of the mighty

Another famous belgian paleontologist and co-organiser of the event is Koen Stein. He will discuss the rise and fall of the dinosaurs starting from a creature known as Gallus gallus domesticus also know as the common chicken. Koen will take it back in time from there and will start to discuss this great dynasty to its most basal representatives (i.a.: the Euparkeria archosaurs). To complete this overview of reptile domination on earth, professor Christen 'Chris' Shelton from Oklahoma will discuss the reptiles that are often mistaken as dinosaurs and will draw the line on what we actually consider dinosaurs and what not. a very insightful keynote talk that will be a unique opportunity for the audience to hear Prof. Shelton during his short stay in Europe. And offcourse when discussing the Mesozoic madness at its apogee we can not turn a blind eye to the tragic event that forever changed the biosphere, the Chicxulub meteorite impact. Our honorable guest paleontologist Melanie During will discuss het research on the impact and the findings she recently published her book called: De laatste Lente van de Dinosauriers (The Last Spring Of The Dinosaurs). Joining her on stage during the Audience Q & A Will we impact specialist dr. Pim Kaskes from the VUB-ULB. Pim wil gladly join all the speakers to answer any burning questions on the impact of the Chicxulub meteorite and other related topics.

Unique event

This event will be a anique gathering of paleontological specialist and is open to a broad audience. We are looking forward to host a very open and inviting evening to everyone who is passionate, intrigued or even a bit frightned of dinosaurs and other ferocious reptiles. We ask you te take your friends, along for this evening filled with entertainment, different book signings talks, music, and goodies to buy or win. We are looking forward to meet you and spend a great evening together.

More information:

Check our webpage of the event DINOSAURS ON CAMPUS

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