|SREL Reprint #1986|
Combining science and policy in conservation biology
Gary K. Meffe and Stephen Viederman
As conservation biologists and wildlife biologists continue to assess their
Conservation biology is a new and developing science, a product of the late
1970's and early 1980's when ecologists first gathered in mutual recognition of an
impending biological diversity (biodiversity) crisis. The leading journal in the field,
Conservation Biology, only began in 1987, and the first 2 textbooks on the topic
appeared in the fall of 1993 (Primack 1993) and the spring of 1994 (Meffe and
Carroll 1994). Thus, the field is in a rudimentary stage, we are still learning some
very basic things, and conservation science is rapidly evolving. Conservation
biology began with a major emphasis on genetics, biogeography, and other
ecological and evolutionary issues, but the field is now maturing to encompass
other concerns beyond ecology, including economic, legal, and political issues.
Because it is so young, the proper balance between basic and applied science,
between curiosity-driven and issue-driven research, is still being sought.
SREL Reprint #1986
Meffe, G.K. and S. Viederman. 1995. Combining science and policy in conservation biology. Wildlife Society Bulletin 23:327-332.