Conservation in the Era of Synthetic Biology
Kent Redford and W. M. Adams
A groundbreaking examination of the implications of synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation.
Nature almost everywhere survives on human terms. The distinction between what is natural and what is human-made, which has informed conservation for centuries, has become blurred. When scientists can reshape genes more or less at will, what does it mean to conserve nature?
The tools of synthetic biology are changing the way we answer that question. Gene editing technology is already transforming the agriculture and biotechnology industries. What happens if synthetic biology is also used in conservation to control invasive species, fight wildlife disease, or even bring extinct species back from the dead?
In Strange Natures: Conservation in the Era of Synthetic Biology, Conservation scientist Kent Redford and geographer Bill Adams turn to synthetic biology, ecological restoration, political ecology, and de-extinction studies and propose a thoroughly innovative vision for protecting nature.
Published by Yale University Press
Praise for Strange Natures
What is natural and what is artificial in the era of the Anthropocene? This is the core question addressed by Kent Redford and William Adams’ book, Strange Natures. . . . It is impressive how the book manages to be so rich in perspectives on such a complex and controversial phenomenon, yet so cautiously and open-mindedly written that it invites contemplation and reflection rather than hasty conclusions.
— Adam Wickberg, Global Environmental Politics
An insightful critique of emerging approaches to environmental conservation. . . . A good book for libraries supporting programs in environmental science, environmental ethics, and public policy.
— B. R. Shmaefsky, CHOICE
Brilliant, challenging and fresh: Kent Redford and Bill Adams’s focus on genetics as a means of conservation raises fascinating ethical and scientific questions, and helps us understand why we so often fail.
— Fiona Reynolds, author of The Fight for Beauty
A fantastic, readable primer on genetic technologies for conservationists and on conservation for geneticists—with the ultimate aim of charting an ethical course forward for both fields.
— Emma Marris, author of Rambunctious Garden and Wild Souls