Inventing Nature

Inventing Nature : Ecological Restoration by Public Experiments

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In Inventing Nature Matthias Gross argues-on the basis of his analysis of diverse restoration efforts in North America-that a new understanding of the relationship between human actors and nature is needed. No longer merely a laboratory for scientists, no longer sacred space to be left alone, in the context of ecological restoration physical surroundings must be understood as our partner and peer in the project of community-building. Inventing Nature offers a way past the social constructivist versus realist debate in the environmental social sciences that is both scholarly rigorous and practically more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 18mm | 426g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 0739105043
  • 9780739105047

About Matthias Gross

Matthias Gross is on the faculty of the Institute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT) at Universitat Bielefeld, more

Review quote

Inventing Nature provides a fresh look at nature's place in sociological theory. Using the experimental practice of ecological restoration as a touchstone, the book throws a fascinating light on society's place in nature as well as nature's role in society. -- Wolfgang Krohn, Bielefeld University Inventing Nature is at once a challenge and a treasure... I enthusiastically recommend it to students, scholars, and anyone else who is serious about gaining an innovative, critical, and rewarding perspective into the science and practice of ecological restoration. -- David Robertson Ecological Restoration Moving beyond lay-expert divides, everyday resistance, and the formalization of democratic participation through consensus conferences, lay representation on review panels, and so on, Gross has opened up new ways of considering what democratization of science could look like...The substance of Inventing Nature is a welcome contribution to the debates over the relationship between humans and nature. Contemporary Sociology Inventing Nature proves that much can be learned from a classical sociological analysis of ecological restoration. Gross develops a new understanding of the interaction between nature and society that deserves attention not just from sociologists but from natural scientists and humanists as well. Gross' greatest strength lies not only his skilled theoretical handling of this insight, but his recognition that this does not create a license to simply engineer the world according to our whims. He properly locates his conclusions about nature-society interactions somewhere in the uneasy tension between 'nature untouched' and 'artificial nature.' Environmental Ethics There comes a point in the course of an ecological restoration project where the practitioner steps back and realizes that he/she has been participating in his/her own ecosystem and is intimately part of the natural processes. This realization is an epiphany. Gross's book is a winner, since it looks at this crucial point from a sociological perspective. It provides a very welcome perspective on restoration from the social sciences and delivers an understanding on how restorationists are acting as part of nature. -- Andre Clewell, former president, Society for Ecological Restorationshow more

Table of contents

Part 1 Nature Chapter 2 Twentieth-Century Myths of Nature Chapter 3 Ecological Restoration: Nature Has Just Begun Part 4 Society Chapter 5 The Science of Society and Ecology Chapter 6 Nature, Social Science, and the Laboratory Part 7 Interactions Chapter 8 Nature by Public Experiment Chapter 9 Restoring Nature as Society's Laboratoryshow more