Week 8: Dr. Yoldas's Presentation


Dr. Pinar Yoldas began her presentation by talking about what us humans have done throughout the many years we have been on this planet. She discussed that we have always considered what we want but have not considered what the earth wants. She suggests that we need to go back to our roots and become radical in our changes because we are destroying the environment which is not ours alone. This environment is for all the animals that live here and the future generations of this planet. Dr. Yoldas then introduced us to the German word “umwelt” which means environment. She used it to define the action world of an organism. This umwelt combined with sense and perception equals an organism's bubble. This can also be shown in the equation below.


sense/perception + action = bubble


This bubble represents all that an organism can see and interact with in the world. Once something is out of the bubble, they don’t see it or make the connection of its actions to a particular cause. Therefore, imperceptibility does not equal causality. This can be a problem when we have humans generating millions of tons of plastic everyday and the animals out in the ocean dying from ingesting it. We do not directly associate this plastic with dead animals, it is out of our bubble and view of causality. Yet this pelagic plastic is a huge problem. Dr. Yoldas described the ocean as turning into a plastic soup. In order for this to change we need to start directly seeing plastic and the cause of dead animals together. An even better to learn this is to get our bodies and emotions involved. Dr. Yoldas tries to do this by setting up galleries where she designs new organs that can digest plastic or plastic loving bacteria. The goal is to get people to start thinking about these things more. Below is a picture of Dr. Yoldas giving the presentation and the other photo is the plastic digesting organ she created.