Conservation Refugees: The Hun-
dred-Year Conflict Between Global
Conservation and Native Peoples
Wilderness: The word evokes ideas of a land pristine, where native
flora and fauna thrive untouched by
humans. But Dowie, an investigative
journalist, argues that the notion of
virgin wilderness is largely a fantasy
and shows how efforts to preserve land
have upset the lives of millions of indigenous people around the world.
This thought-provoking book traces
the story of ecological protection from
its early days in the late 19th century.
That’s when naturalist John Muir lobbied to evict American Indians from
their ancestral lands in today’s Yosemite
National Park, arguing that they threatened the land’s “natural” splendor.
The Yosemite Park model — which
held that human activity and biological
diversity are almost always mutually
exclusive — became the standard philosophy of conservation organizations
such as the World Wildlife Fund and the
Nature Conservancy, Dowie writes.
Historic Photos of the
Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 64 years
ago this month, bringing World War II
to an end. The research and develop-
ment program that spawned those
weapons had been officially launched
only three years earlier. Historic Photos
of the Manhattan Project is a captivating
of this supersecret
race to develop
The book is jam-packed with images
from the National
Archives, Library of Congress and the
Department of Energy, among other
sources, and includes photos of all the
Manhattan Project’s familiar characters. More interesting, perhaps, are
images of the welders, technicians and,
30 | SCIENCE NEWS | August 1, 2009
As a result, a number of indigenous
peoples have become “conservation
refugees.” The Maasai hunters of the
Serengeti, the Adivasi people of India’s
forests and the Karen people in Thailand
all faced eviction or severe restrictions
after their land was declared a park or
a reserve. Divorced from ancestral land
and traditions, many societies have slid
into poverty. Some
even face extinction.
thizes, but he doesn’t
peoples’ lifestyles or
capacity as land stew-
ards. Not all indig-
enous societies have
cared for their homes, just as not all conservationist groups prioritize biological
diversity over human culture, he notes.
True ecological conservation requires
balancing both interests, he writes. “If
we really want people to live in harmony
with nature, history is showing us that
the dumbest thing we can do is kick
them out of it.” — Rachel Zelko witz
MIT Press, 2009, 336 p., $27.95.
yes, even switchboard operators who
toiled in closed-lipped anonymity in
what Joseph describes as “the most significant and far-reaching challenge the
United States ever embarked on.”
Aerial images of Manhattan Project
facilities in New Mexico, Tennessee and
Washington reveal the magnitude of the
effort. Many of the largest facilities were
built even before the processes used to
separate bomb-grade uranium from its
ore were fully developed. Despite the
grand scale and unprecedented technology developed during the project, some
milestones were surprisingly low-key:
The plutonium core of the bomb tested
in the New Mexico desert in July 1945
was ferried to the blast site in the back
seat of a ’42 Plymouth.
Overall, Joseph’s book provides an
extensive, behind-the-scenes look at
a project that changed the course of
human history. — Sid Perkins
Turner Publishing, 2009, 205 p., $39.95.
Building a Meal:
From Molecular Gas-
tronomy to Culinary
A chemist trained in
culinary arts explores
the science of a good meal, with tips
for how to make one. Columbia Univ.,
2009, 135 p., $19.95.
Perennials: A New
Look at an Old Favorite
An intimate portrait
of perennials aims to
give a deeper understanding of these
garden standbys. Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt, 2009, 247 p., $40.
Cogent Science in
Context: The Science
Theory, and Habermas
A philosopher reflects
on the best way to
validate a scientific claim. MIT Press,
2009, 345 p., $40.
Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in
Research reveals the
complexity and diver-
sity of microbial life in the sea. Univ.
of California, 2009, 403 p., $24.95.
Decoding the Heavens
A science writer takes
readers on a quest to
decode the Antikythera
Mechanism, the first
analog computer. Da Capo Press,
2009, 328 p., $25.
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