Academic journal article et Cetera

The Tapir's Morning Bath

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Tapir's Morning Bath

Article excerpt

Elizabeth Royte. The Tapir's Morning Bath. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

In The Tapir's Morning Bath, Elizabeth Royte describes the variety of biological research projects conducted by several researchers on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), a small piece of land in the Panama Canal's Gatun Lake. She also describes the personalities and motivations of the researchers, a group that is driven for the most part by a search for truth and professional success.

The eminent 19th century Victorian scientist Lord Kelvin maintained that when you can measure what you are talking about you know something about it, and the researchers at BCI spend much of their time following Lord Kelvin's dictum. Whether it be collecting spider monkey fecal samples or radio-tracking fruit bats, the scientists at BCI assiduously devote lots of energy to gathering and measuring. In the current scientific world of rigor and quantification, narrow focus and specialization is the key to professional success. …

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