Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Natural History on the Big Screen: Spaceship Earth

Archived Webinar

The Zoom webinar with filmmaker, Matt Wolf, and two crew members from Biosphere 2, Linda Leigh and Mark Nelson, aired May 13, 2020. Watch a recording in the player above.


"Spaceship Earth" is the true, stranger-than-fiction adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called BIOSPHERE 2. The experiment was a worldwide phenomenon, chronicling daily existence in the face of life-threatening ecological disaster and a growing criticism that it was nothing more than a cult. The bizarre story is both a cautionary tale and a hopeful lesson of how a small group of dreamers can potentially reimagine a new world.

This video is a discussion with the filmmaker, Matt Wolf, and two of the "Biospherians," Linda Leigh and Mark Nelson, who explain more about this first-of-its-kind climate change experiment and how it has contributed to what we know today about ecosystem change and conservation. The discussion is moderated by Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of NMNH.

The webinar was presented by National Museum of Natural History, Neon, and the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

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Life Science