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British Wildlife

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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Academic & Professional Books  Environmental & Social Studies  Economics, Politics & Policy  Sustainable Development: General

Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability Redefining our Relationship with Nature

By: Brendon Larson(Author)
320 pages, 16 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability
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  • Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability ISBN: 9780300151534 Hardback Jul 2011 Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability ISBN: 9780300205817 Paperback Apr 2014 Usually dispatched within 5 days
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About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Scientists turn to metaphors to formulate and explain scientific concepts, but an ill-considered metaphor can lead to social misunderstandings and counterproductive policies, Brendon Larson observes in this stimulating book. He explores how metaphors can entangle scientific facts with social values and warns that, particularly in the environmental realm, incautious metaphors can reinforce prevailing values that are inconsistent with desirable sustainability outcomes.

Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability draws on four case studies – two from nineteenth-century evolutionary science, and two from contemporary biodiversity science – to reveal how metaphors may shape the possibility of sustainability. Arguing that scientists must assume greater responsibility for their metaphors, and that the rest of us must become more critically aware of them, the author urges more critical reflection on the social dimensions and implications of metaphors while offering practical suggestions for choosing among alternative scientific metaphors.

Customer Reviews


Brendon Larson is assistant professor, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo.

By: Brendon Larson(Author)
320 pages, 16 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"An original and important addition to the study of science and language."
– Glenn Adelson, Director of Environmental Studies, Lake Forest College

"Larson's treatment of DNA barcoding and invasional meltdowns are superb examples of how the social and linguistic studies of science should proceed. [T]his book [...] will continue to be cited and analyzed for decades to come."
– Steward T.A. Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

"Right on Target (pardon the military metaphor)! Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability sheds light into the darkest corners of value-laden ecology and naturalistic environmental ethics by exploring the metaphors (dead and alive) that drive our valuing of nature."
– Bryan G. Norton, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Science and Technology, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

"This is interdisciplinarity at its best: Larson's project is to explore the assumptions and biases that undergird our thinking about the environment. By exploring metaphorical constructs we routinely employ and by offering new ones, Larson offers the reader both a bold methodology and a renewed hope for environmental reform."
– Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis, University of Florida at Gainesville

"An innovative exploration of how 'feedback metaphors' in science both reflect and shape our cultural values. Larson engages an impressive amount of scholarship on metaphor to a crucial end: improving the way we envision a more sustainable world."
– Daniel J. Philippon, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and author of Conserving Words

"Larson presents a fascinating array of research-spanning linguistics, rhetoric, sociology, psychology, biology, and ecology – in a beautifully interdisciplinary investigation of his topic [...] an essential read for practicing scientists, editors and reviewers, students and teachers, policy-makers and funders, and the informed public."

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