Paper recommendation: Michael Soulé (1936-2020) on Spirituality, Ethics, and Conservation Biology

I’d like to warmly recommend the following paper: Michael Soulé (1936-2020) on Spirituality, Ethics, and Conservation Biology. B Taylor. Conserv Biol 2020 Sep 09 DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13634

Michael Soulé, widely regarded as the founding father of Conservation Biology, passed away in June 2020. Numerous obituaries have been written to commemorate his life since then. The article recommended here is less of an obituary, but rather an analysis of how Soulé’s spirituality influenced and interacted with his science. By mapping out the role of spirituality in the life of one of conservation’s giants, the article makes a very important contribution – it shows how beyond the readily quantifiable and observable facts of science, ethics, ongoing questioning, rejection of black-and-white thinking, and empathy for all living beings were key ingredients to what made Soulé a great conservation scientist, and an inspiring human being. Modern conservation biologists can learn a lot from Soulé – of course, from his science, but perhaps more importantly from his deep engagement with intuition and spirituality.

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