December 15, 2016

New Issue of Environment and Society!

Berghahn Journals is pleased to announce that the latest volume of Environment and Society has recently published and is available online at its new home,

This volume, guested edited by Kay E. Lewis-Jones, revolves around the theme of “People and Plants,” as “recent research on plants … is now expanding our appreciation both of the fundamental role plants have in the function and health of the living world, and of their own intimate interactions within it.” The guest editor’s introduction is available to all readers for free.

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New Issue of Environment and Society!

December 6, 2016

Studying African Floodplains as Coupled Systems

Mark Moritz

The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.

— Gregory Bateson

The quote from Gregory Bateson, from the documentary Ecology of Mind (2011) that Nora Bateson made about her father, captures one of the key themes in his work: the way we perceive and conceive of the world is poor match for how the world really works (Bateson 1972, [1979] 2002). The mismatch between our theoretical models and the world we are studying is a key problem in scientific research. I tell students that “theory world” and the “world out there” are two very different worlds and that theoretical models are simply thinking tools that allow us to get a better handle on the world. Some of these thinking tools are better for some problems than for others, and most problems require multiple tools to get the job done.

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