This talk considers the concept of the Anthropocene, a geologic era defined by human influence. The arrival and evolution of humanity disrupted 300 million years of prior history. How do we comprehend humanity’s place and potential in the biosphere? This is subject to great debate among scientists and social scientists alike. A significant participant in this debate is John McNeill, who teaches world history and environmental history at Georgetown University. He is author of the forthcoming book The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945 (Harvard University Press, 2016).