Welcome!  We hope our
publications and education programs inspire you
with fresh and radical perspectives on nature, science, and technology.
What’s The Latest?
Vladimir Solovyov on Sexual
Love and Evolution: a nineteenth-century counterpoint to modern
COMING THIS FALL: Our new Living
Soils project will address critical issues of soil and farm
health from a holistic, phenomenological perspective. Bruno Follador will
direct the project. As a first introduction, we invite you to read
Bruno’s interview with Food Tank, an organization seeking sustainable
solutions for feeding the world.
and the Unity of Gesture: Part 2 of “From Bodily Wisdom to the
Knowing Self.” Do cells have a speech of their own?
Unintended Effects of
Genetic Engineering: News updates about unintended consequences of
genetic engineering, together with a searchable database.
Goethe and the Evolution of Science:
What, really, makes Goethe so important for the future of science?
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
Visit our Calendar of
Events to learn about upcoming events.
Join our mailing list:
You'll receive our twice-yearly, free magazine,
and occasional brief notices about courses, events, and other
publications. Just send an email to
asking to be kept informed, and please include your postal address to
receive In Context by mail, if you live in the U.S. International
readers and others who prefer email only will receive email links to new
issues of In Context.
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 In Context #29.
(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!
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 has translated some of the writings of the German
science educator and physicist Martin Wagenschein. To read about
Wagenschein and to access the translations,
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
Back to top