The Environment and Science
Social Impact and Interaction
by Christian C. Young
April 2005, 299pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-963-8
$91, £70, 80€, A125
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-964-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

When it comes to arguments over global warming, drilling for oil in Alaska, logging in the Northwest, one side’s compelling scientific support is another’s hijacked, misinterpreted data. This book offers a vivid reminder of how, in any age, the scientific investigation of the environment is inextricably linked to the social and political climate of the era.

A fascinating look at the historical relationship between environmental issues and scientific study, social attitudes, and public policy from the 17th century to the present.

The Environment and Science: Social Impact and Interaction explores the history of how science investigates nature and how those studies both shape and are shaped by the social attitudes, philosophies, and politics of their times. It follows the changes in perceptions of the natural world and humankind’s place in it from the European colonization of North America through the Industrial Revolution and westward expansion, to the rise of the consumer economy and the recent hardening of the ideological battle lines over environmental policy.

Coverage includes the emergence of ecology as a science and conservation as a movement, the long history of conflicts between business interests and environmentalists, and the role of scientific studies in debates over atomic and nuclear power, pesticides, toxic emissions, and other human-made sources of environmental degradation.


  • Biographical sketches of major contributors to the study of human/environment interaction, including Carolus Linnaeus, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, and Barry Commoner
  • Primary source documents from key environmental writers
Christian C. Young, PhD, is assistant professor of biology at Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI. His published works include In the Absence of Predators: Conservation and Controversy on the Kaibab Plateau.


"Drawing on the arts, religion, and the full range of sciences, this book is a valuable source for all who wish to understand the most pressing issues in this area."—Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and the Environment, 00/00/00
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