Challenge for Survival: Land, Air, and Water for Man in Megalopolis

Challenge for Survival: Land, Air, and Water for Man in Megalopolis

Challenge for Survival: Land, Air, and Water for Man in Megalopolis

Challenge for Survival: Land, Air, and Water for Man in Megalopolis

Excerpt

Environmental science made its appearance a few years ago on university calendars and in public administrations. New programs and curricula, new services and departments were set up under this label. It may seem to many observers that nothing new is being contemplated and that a mere play on words is being enacted in order to dignify (if not to rehabilitate) a tired discipline. The generation born to Science in the thirties may now witness with suspicion the purifying baptism of emerging disciplines and their confirmation rides on new bandwagons (mostly star-spangled), and is understandably reluctant to grant them autonomy. But when such emergences have truly rejuvenated the field by effecting an authentic breakthrough, they have brought about a shift in intellectual allegiances and a consequent move in disciplinary boundaries, which in turn have disturbed curricular and administrative patterns. In the last several decades, demography, nuclear physics, cybernetics, topology, molecular biology, radiobiology, ecosystem-ecology have reached that stage in self-realization at which they must claim full freedom to borrow from other sciences in their own way, at the expense of a temporary break with the tradition from which they have sprung.

Environmental biology -- and indeed environmental science as a whole -- came out of ecology and can only maintain its validity . . .

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