The State of Nature: Ecology, Community, and American Social Thought, 1900-1950
University of Chicago Press, 1992 - Science - 290 pages
Although science may claim to be "objective," scientists cannot avoid the influence of their own values on their research. In The State of Nature, Gregg Mitman examines the relationship between issues in early twentieth-century American society and the sciences of evolution and ecology to reveal how explicit social and political concerns influenced the scientific agenda of biologists at the University of Chicago and throughout the United States during the first half of this century.
Reacting against the view of nature "red in tooth and claw," ecologists and behavioral biologists such as Warder Clyde Allee, Alfred Emerson, and their colleagues developed research programs they hoped would validate and promote an image of human society as essentially cooperative rather than competitive. Mitman argues that Allee's religious training and pacifist convictions shaped his pioneering studies of animal communities in a way that could be generalized to denounce the view that war is in our genes.
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activity aggregation aggression Allee Allee's American analysis animal ecology argued associations basis became behavior biological biologists caste Chicago Child competition continued cooperation course Darwinism determined direction discussion dominance early effects Emerson emphasized environment environmental established ethics eugenics evolution evolutionary existence experimental experiments factors field folder force Foundation functional funds genetics growth human ideas idem important included increased individual influence Institute integration interactions interest laboratory Lillie means mechanisms nature Noble organism origin Park patterns peace period physical physiological plant political population position principle problems progress Quaker relations relationship reproductive response result role scientific selection Shelford similar social society species structure struggle succession suggested termite theory tion unit University University of Chicago W. C. Allee Whitman whole World wrote zoology
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