Natural history, aesthetics, and conservation

A Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar by HARRY W. GREENE, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
2320 Life Sciences Building


The diversity of life on earth is under serious threats from multiple human-related causes, and science plays well-known roles in addressing management aspects of this problem. My presentation will describe how natural history also plays a vital role in enhancing our appreciation for organisms and environments, thereby influencing the value judgments that ultimately underlie all conservation. I will first explain how an 18th century philosopher’s distinction between “beauty” and “sublime” can be used in the context of Darwin’s notion of “descent with modification,” then illustrate this approach with frogs, rattlesnakes, the African megafauna, Longhorn Cattle, and California Condors.

Host: Dan Blumstein

Refreshments will be served at 11:40 a.m.


Sponsor(s): Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology