Never before has the work of tropical biologists and conservationists been as necessary as it is now, in the Anthropocene. With a global human population of over 7.5 billion (and growing!) and an economic paradigm based on consumerism and perpetual growth, we humans are putting unsustainable pressures on the world’s biodiversity and natural systems. This is particularly true in the tropics, where most of the world’s biodiversity is found. In ATBC 2018 we want to highlight the importance of natural history because, if we want to conserve tropical biodiversity, we need a robust scientific understanding of how nature works. But we also know that science is necessary but not enough to do effective conservation. That’s why in ATBC 2018 we want to avoid silos and intend to engage a range of academic disciplines, professional sectors, and social stakeholders. Together, we will exchange knowledge about tropical biodiversity and discuss the ways for its effective conservation.