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Science and the social good : nature, culture, and community, 1865-1965

Author: John P Herron
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The author explores the evolving forces influencing the design and purpose of American natural science by focusing on three scientists who purposefully considered the social outcomes of their work : geologist Clarence King, forester Robert Marshall, and biologist Rachel Carson. King was the founding director of the U.S. Geological Survey, and used his standing to integrate science into late nineteenth century  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John P Herron
ISBN: 9780195383546 0195383540
OCLC Number: 316736778
Description: vi, 280 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Contents: Paths of science : the maturation of a public ideal --
Vertical history : using mountains to measure men --
True places : searching for wild nature in an urban age --
The forest and the trees : natural science and social justice --
The biological century : the cultural importance of ecological process --
Poetic revolutions : the search for natural harmony.
Responsibility: John P. Herron.

Abstract:

The author explores the evolving forces influencing the design and purpose of American natural science by focusing on three scientists who purposefully considered the social outcomes of their work : geologist Clarence King, forester Robert Marshall, and biologist Rachel Carson. King was the founding director of the U.S. Geological Survey, and used his standing to integrate science into late nineteenth century political debates about foreign policy, immigration, and social reform. In the mid-1930s, Marshall founded the environmental advocacy group, The Wilderness Society, which changed the face of natural preservation in America. Committed to social justice, he blended forest ecology and pragmatic philosophy to craft a natural science ethic that extended the reach of science into political discussions about the restructuring of society prompted by urbanization and economic crisis. Carson is credited for launching the modern environmental movement with her 1962 classic Silent Spring. She made a generation of Americans aware of the social costs inherent in the human manipulation of the natural world and used natural science to critique established institutions and offer an alternative vision of a healthy and diverse society. As these three became increasingly wary of the social costs of industrialization, they used their scientific work to address problems of ecological and social imbalance.

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overall he achieves a successful balance in recording both lives and times. Above all, his account provides a forceful reminder of the historical intersections of nature, science, and society. * Read more...

 
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