Sociological approaches to ecological uncertainty (version 2)
Ecological uncertainty raises questions of authority - personal ability

My knowledge of biology is largely self-taught, first through simply growing up in the countryside, secondly through the books of Gerry Durrell, Richard Dawkins and Stephen J. Gould and thirdly through specific textbooks on genetics, population biology, bacterial diversity. These, along with a subscription to Nature, and a year's worth of practical environmental conservation experience around the North Devon coast, enabled me to convert from my B.Sc. Astrophysics to my M.Sc. Analytical Biology.

My M.Sc. thesis, 'Accounting for Environmental Decision Making' looked at the problems of representing environmental resource values within the framework of National Accounts. In some ways my conclusions emphasised the change between single systems rather than more pluralist approaches. This is different from the main text of the work, where different pluralist approaches are also considered. I think my main problem was a lack of alternative mathematical forms in which to express this plurality and a pre-disposition to mathematical arguments.

The M.Sc. at Warwick University introduced us to a wide range of disciplines that could be applied to ecological situations. Our professor, Jacquie McGlade was particularly interested in Habermas' ideas of Communicative Rationality and it's application to local solutions of fisheries management problems. However, my main sociological reading has been since then.

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Written 3/5/99
Created 30/5/99