Strange Natures Conservation in the Era of Synthetic Biology Kent H. Redford, William M. Adams

Publication date:
20 Jul 2021
Yale University Press
296 pages: 235 x 156 x 25mm
9 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

A groundbreaking examination of the implications of synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation

Nature almost everywhere survives on human terms. The distinction between what is natural and what is human-made, which has informed conservation for centuries, has become blurred. When scientists can use synthetic biology to reshape genes more or less at will, what does it mean to conserve nature?

The tools of synthetic biology have the power to reshape living organisms in unprecedented ways. Gene editing tools are already transforming the agriculture and biotechnology industries. Should they also be used to protect nature by preserving rare species, controlling invasive ones, and even bringing extinct ones back from the dead?

This revolution in genetic technologies is a game changer. To explore its implications, conservation scientist Kent Redford and geographer Bill Adams turn to synthetic biology, ecological restoration, political ecology, and de-extinction studies. They propose a way forward for conservation and provide a much-needed vision for protecting nature.

Kent H. Redford is Principal at Archipelago Consulting and has worked for The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society. He lives in Portland, ME. William M. Adams is Emeritus Moran Chair of Conservation and Development at the University of Cambridge. He lives in Cambridge, UK.