The Invention of Nature

“Andrea Wulf’s new book The Invention of Nature reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and how he created the way we understand nature today. Though almost forgotten today, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current to the Humboldt penguin. Humboldt was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. Perceiving nature as an interconnected global force, Humboldt discovered similarities between climate zones across the world and predicted human-induced climate change. Wulf traces Humboldt’s influences through the great minds he inspired in revolution, evolution, ecology, conservation, art and literature.  In The Invention of Nature Wulf brings this lost hero to science and the forgotten father of environmentalism back to life.”

Source: www.brown.edu

Alexander von Humboldt’s biographer Andrea Wulf is coming to Rhode Island on May 9th to speak about the greatest scientist that people don’t know about.  Alexander von Humboldt has been described as the last great ancient geographer concerned with understanding an eclectic cosmography as well as the first modern geographer. He is honored far and wide throughout Europe and especially  Latin America for his explorations, but given that people are confused as how to categorize him and classify his contributions, today he is under-appreciated.  Geographers need to reclaim his memory and call his extensive, globetrotting work on a wide range of subjects ‘geography.’  Here are more articles and videos on the man that I feel geographers should publicly champion as their intellectual ancestor the way that biologists point to Darwin.  

 

Tags:  historicalbiogeography, book reviews.

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2015 Global Peace Index

“”The 2015 Global Peace Index reveals a divided world, with the most peaceful countries enjoying increasing levels of peace and prosperity, while the least peaceful countries spiral into violence and conflict. Explore the state of world peace on the interactive Global Peace Index map. www.visionofhumanity.org

Source: www.youtube.com

The Middle East and North Africa is now the world’s least peaceful region for the first time since the Index began, due to an increase in civil unrest and terrorist activity while Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, has reached historically high levels of peace.  This might not seem shocking, but there is a great richness to this dataset that can provide detailed regional information as well as answer some big questions about global security.  Explore the data on your own with this interactive map of Global Peace or also of the states within the United States

 

Tags: political, terrorism, conflict, development, statistics, visualization, mapping, governance.