Ecologists and Environmental Politics: A History of Contemporary Ecology

Ecologists and Environmental Politics: A History of Contemporary Ecology

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Ecologists, like other scientist, have for decades debated their role in society. While some have argued that ecologists should participate in environmental politics, others have focused their attention strictly on scientific issues. In this book, Stephen Bocking explores the context of this debate by recounting the history of ecology in Great Britain, the United States, and Canada since the 1940s. Bocking tells this history through four case studies: the origins and early research of the nature conservancy in Great Britain; the development of ecology at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennesee; the work of the Hubbard Brook ecosystem study in New Hampshire; and research in fisheries ecology at the University of Toronto and the Ontario provincial government in Canada. In each institution, ecologists influenced the development of their discipline, and Bocking explains their work. By comparing these case studies, Bocking demonstrates how the places of contemporary science - laboratories, landscapes, and funding agencies - and its purposes, as expressed through the political roles of expertise and specific managerial and regulatory responsibilities, have shaped contemporary ecology and its application to pressing environmental problems.

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