Changing values and approaches in conservation science

Ideas for Sustainability

By Joern Fischer

Apparently I’ve been asleep for the last 10 months or so. I just read a paper by Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier in BioScience, entitled “What is conservation science?”, which somehow had slipped my attention when it came out. I trust that to some readers of this blog, this paper is still news too — and importantly, there are a couple of responses out to this paper, one by Reed Noss, Roderick Nash, Paul Paquet … and the “father of conservation biology” himself, Michael Soulé.

The discussion in BioScience on this is fascinating, and says an incredible amount about what has changed between 1985 and now — 1985 being when Michael Soulé’s landmark paper “What is conservation biology?” came out.

In 1985, Soulé proposed that conservation biology would have to be an interdisciplinary science; one that drew on the natural sciences and the social sciences; and one that…

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