Welcome to our website! We hope
you will be led by this website to fresh and radical
perspectives on nature, science, and technology.
What’s The Latest?
spring and summer
calendar is now available. You’ll find presentations on topics
ranging from evolution to astronomy to social transformation — including
“Mathematics Alive!”, a weekend algebra workshop for middle school teachers,
March 28-30, 2014.
RNA: Dancing with a Thousand Partners.
How is the pattern of one particular, incomprehensibly complex
dance in the cell maintained? (Sometimes it takes courage to put a name
to the unknown.)
In Context #30 is now online. Articles
include “From Mechanistic to Organismal Biology,” “Rebirth of the Type,”
and “Shattering the Genome,” in addition to news from the Institute.
Thinking Like a
Plant — Craig’s new book about how the “thoughtful”
world of plants can inform our own thinking is now available at the
Calendar of Events
to learn about 2014 events.
Biology Worthy of Life
The revolution now taking shape in the world’s molecular biology labs may
not yet be common public knowledge, but it is transforming scientists’
thinking about genetics and the organism as a whole. Researchers have
been discovering that it makes much more sense to say that the organism is
in charge of its genes, than to put it the other way around. For
commentaries on our shifting understanding of organisms at the molecular
level, see the continuing series of articles by Stephen L. Talbott
Worthy of Life. Steve’s more recent contributions to the series
tackle some of the central controversies surrounding evolution. Also,
Steve has established a portal
page (along with an RSS feed for those familiar with such things) for
introducing all his new writings. And, finally, there is a new
for convenient access to all the content of “Biology Worthy of
Effects of Genetic Manipulation
This Nature Institute project documents over 80 cases of
unintended and unpredictable effects of genetic engineering on organisms
and the environment. Our nontarget.org website makes important scientific
research about unintended effects accessible to the broader public. It
provides crucial information needed for an informed debate concerning
genetic engineering in agriculture and genetically modified food.
Craig’s latest book
Who would imagine that plants can become master teachers of a radical new
way of seeing and interacting with the world? Plants are dynamic and
resilient, living in intimate connection with their environment. This
book presents an organic way of knowing modeled after the way plants live.
in our bookstore.
Commemorating Henri Bortoft’s Life.
The Holistic Science Journal (for which Nature Institute director,
Craig Holdrege, is a contributing editor) has put out a special
“Dynamic Wholeness” issue, celebrating and
commenting on the life work of the late Henri Bortoft. Bortoft was a
leading student of Goethe’s scientific methods and an effective elucidator
of wholeness in nature. Readers may also be interested in
brief personal appreciation of Henri by Craig in the latest issue of our
In Context newsletter. (Go to p. 9 after clicking on the link.)
|What Does it Mean to be a Sloth? This article by Craig Holdrege paints a vivid picture of the sloth — a remarkable animal that expresses slowness in so many of its characteristics and even slows down processes in the rain forest in which it lives. Originally published in 1998, this article, can now be read in revised form on our website. Enjoy getting to know this remarkable creature. And maybe it will even help you slow down in our hectic times! Click here.
A Book from Nature Institute Staff
"Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott's analysis of genetic engineering is the smartest, most original, and most compelling I have seen anywhere, in journalism or academia." (Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma)
Published by the University Press of Kentucky, Beyond Biotechnology: The
Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering is in the Press' "Culture of
the Land" series, whose editorial advisors include Wendell Berry,
Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Vandana Shiva, and others. As Sheldon Krimsky
(Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University)
describes the book, "The authors offer a refreshing style of
scientific interpretation and have brought the discussion of the issues
to a new level by making excellent use of current scientific findings
that disclose how genes operate in vivo and by drawing on bioethical
To find out more about this book or to order it, click here.
The Work of Martin Wagenschein:
The Nature Institute is translating some of the writings of the German
science educator and physicist Martin Wagenschein. To read about
Wagenschein and to access the translations we have done so far,
How Shall We Live?
The way we experience ourselves in the world - our habits of perception
and the relation between our sense of Self and sense of the Other - are
decisively important for everything from the achievement of a truly
adequate science to the restoration of social health to the establishment
of an environmentally responsible ethics. Human progress in all fields
depends upon how we engage the phenomena around us. This is why the book
Being on Earth: Practice In Tending the Appearances,
a full-text, online document, is so important. Written by physicist Georg
Maier, the late philosopher Ronald Brady, and the late physicist Stephen
Edelglass, it explores what it means for us to be on earth as knowers, as
participants in earth's various ecological settings, and in company with
one another. The book breaks down the barriers between fact and value,
between science and aesthetics.
Being on Earth is now also available as a 196-page softcover
paperback from Logos Verlag in Berlin. The price is 40.5 euros
(approximately 63 US dollars).
You can order the book over the internet by
A thought-provoking publication
Giraffe's Long Neck: From Evolutionary Fable
to Whole Organism
by Craig Holdrege
A fresh look at the giraffe and evolution.
To find out more about this book, click
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