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The Value of Life: Biological Diversity And Human Society Hardcover – October 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-1559633178 ISBN-10: 1559633174 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559633174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559633178
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,593,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For 20 years, Kellert (The Diversity of Life, with Edward O. Wilson) has studied how people perceive nature and wildlife. Here, he outlines a framework of basic values, then explores differences among varying demographic and cultural groups. In the final section, he focuses on the links between values of nature and the challenge of managing, conserving and restoring biodiversity. Kellert contrasts Americans' perceptions with those of Germans, Japanese and Botswanans, finding that most Americans have a limited knowledge of nature and biological process. He maintains that the educational impact of zoos is negligible, that of TV nature shows transitory. He discusses the Endangered Species Act, hunting, rural land use and issues of biological conservation in the modern city. Noting that environmental education receives far less support or prestige than natural resource science, he pleads for redressing the balance, showing here how vital living diversity is to humanity.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The literature is rife with books on the ecological and economic consequences of the loss of biological diversity (E.O. Wilson's The Diversity of Life, LJ 3/1/93,). Kellert, a Yale professor and coeditor of The Biophilia Hypothesis (LJ 11/1/93), takes a different approach by investigating how a diminution of our natural resources will effect the human psyche. His conclusion is that the well-being of the human spirit is dependent upon a strong relationship with nature and living diversity. Kellert devotes a large part of the text to a study on the ways in which our species values animals and nature and how these values are influenced by learning, culture, and experience (for example, the higher a person's education, the more likely a person is to express concern, affection, interest, and knowledge about animals and the natural world). The final section considers the link between values of nature and management, conservation, and restoration of biodiversity. Although clearly and beautifully written, the text may be a bit dry for most lay readers. Highly recommended for all academic libraries and for large environmental collections.
Lynn C. Badger, Univ. of Florida Lib., Gainesville
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Dr. Stephen R. Kellert is the Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology and Senior Research Scholar at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Bio-Logical Capital, a firm that invests in and implements sustainable land uses on large landscapes, as well as he was a founding partner of Environmental Capital Partners, a private equity company investing in the environmental sector. His work focuses on understanding the connection between nature and humanity with a particular interest in the human need for nature, environmental conservation, and sustainable design and development. His awards include: the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Educators Association; the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; the 2009 George B. Hartzog Award for Environmental Conservation; the 2008 American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Best Book of Year Award in Architecture and Urban Planning for the book Biophilic Design; the 2005 Outstanding Research Award for contributions to theory and science, from the North American Association for Environmental Education; the 1997 National Conservation Achievement Award, from the National Wildlife Federation; the 1990 Distinguished Individual Achievement Award, from the Society for Conservation Biology; the 1985 Best Publication of Year Award, from the International Foundation for Environmental Conservation; and, the 1983 Special Achievement Award, from the National Wildlife Federation. Dr. Kellert is also listed and described in "American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present." He has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been a member of the board of directors of many organizations. He has authored more than 150 publications, including the following books: Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World (Yale University Press, 2012); Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together (edited with J. Dunlap, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012); The Coming Transformation: Values to Sustain Natural and Human Communities (edited with Gus Speth, Yale FES, 2010); Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life (co-editors, J. Heerwagen, M. Mador, John Wiley, 2008), Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection (Island Press 2005); Kinship to Mastery: Biophilia in Human Evolution and Development (Island Press, 1997); The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society (Island Press, 1996); The Biophilia Hypothesis (edited with E.O. Wilson, Island Press, 1993); The Good in Nature and Humanity: Connecting Science, Religion, and Spirituality with the Natural World (edited with T. Farnham, Island Press, 2002); Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural, and Evolutionary Foundations (edited with P. Kahn, Jr., MIT Press, 2002); and Ecology, Economics, Ethics: The Broken Circle (edited with F.H. Bormann, Yale University Press, 1991). He also completed with Bill Finnegan in 2011, a 60-minute documentary video, "Biophilic Design: the Architecture of Life" (;

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