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Ecological Pioneers

Whenever the history of ecological thought has been written the contributions of Australian thinkers have been omitted. Yet Australia as a continent of extreme, rare and complex environments has produced a startling group of ecological pioneers. Across a wide range of human endeavour, Australian thinkers and innovators - whether they have thought of themselves as environmentalists or not - have made some truly original contributions to ecological thought. Ecological Pioneers traces the emergence of ecological understandings in Australia. By constructing a social history with chapters focusing on different fields in the arts, sciences, politics and public life, the authors bring to life the work of significant individuals. Some of the ecological pioneers featured include Joseph Banks, Russell Drysdale, Judith Wright, Myles Dunphy, Philip Crosbie Morrison, Vincent Serventy, Francis Ratcliffe, the Gurindji and Yolngu peoples, Bill Mollison, Jack Mundey, Val Plumwood, Michael Leunig, and many more.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The colonisation of Australian nature and the first stirrings of ecological thought; 3. Seeing the land in a new light: people and landscapes in Australian art; 4. Of drovers' wives and a timeless land: land and identity in Australian literature; 5. Taking nature to the public: nature education in public media; 6. Towards a conservation ethic: birth of the conservation movement; 7. Working at the edges of mainstream science: Australian innovations in ecological science; 8. Thinking like an ecosystem: Australian innovations in reconceptualising and redesigning land and resource management; 9. Challenging terra nullius views of people and nature: on the origins and impact of the Aboriginal Land Rights Movement; 10. Green politics in the wide brown land: the cross-fertilisation of wilderness politics and social justice agendas; 11. Towards a communicative ethic: some Australian contributions to ecophilosophy; 12. Conclusions.


'For Australians of any age, it is a superb primer for increasing one's knowledge of the history of ecology in this country.' Gardening Australia 'Mulligan and Hill's Ecological Pioneers provides a rate conjunction: a rattling good read that is also a work of wide-ranging yet meticulously detailed scholarship ... its emphasis on the human and the vulnerable makes for an account that is more than usually engaging ... it is my opinion that this is a very fine book ... what emerges is an informative, compelling, compassionate, grounded and immensely entertaining social history of Australian environmentalism.' Ecopolitics

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