The Nature Institute’s In Context Newsletter

At 20-24 pages in length, In Context appears twice yearly. There is no subscription fee, although we do encourage voluntary donations. We also ask for postage and handling costs from overseas subscribers. Shortly after publication of the hardcopy newsletter, we place its contents online. You can choose between receiving either the hardcopy version or an email notification linking to the online version. Please send your name and either your postal mailing address or your preferred email address to and let us know whether you would like to receive the hardcopy newsletter or email notification. In either case you will also receive occasional notifications about Institute activities.

Currently In Context is a strictly in-house publication; we do not accept manuscript submissions. We do, however, welcome critical comment and correspondence from readers. You may send such correspondence to the authors of articles, or to the editor, Stephen L. Talbott:

Current Issue: In Context #42 (Fall, 2019)
  • The Return of the Bald Eagle
  • Do Flowers Hear Bees?
  • Our Bodies Are Formed Streams

Back Issues:

In Context #41 (Spring, 2019)
  • Understanding Mammals: Threefoldness and Diversity
  • Out of the Life of the Dairy Cow
  • The Sensitive, Muscular Cell
In Context #40 (Fall, 2018)
  • Animals in Their World
  • Our Encounter with Institutionalized Dogmatism in
  • Biology
  • A Fresh Take on the Goethean Approach
  • Scenes of Life
  • Goal-Directed Activity in Life
In Context #39 (Spring, 2018)
  • Do We Have a Home in the Vast Cosmos?
  • Form and Forming
  • Nature Playful
Issue #38 (Fall, 2017)
  • Why Can’t Biologists Quit Believing in Intelligent Design?
  • Nature’s Revealing Surprises
  • When Our Way of Knowing Matters
Issue #37 (Spring, 2017)
  • Why Does a Zebra Have Stripes?
  • Children and Nature
  • Taking Living Things in Their Own Terms
Issue #36 (Fall, 2016)
  • Aldo Leopold and the Deeper Nature of Nature
  • Reviving the organism
  • Soil, Culture, and Human Responsibility
  • In Gratitude: Georg Maier (1933-2016)
Issue #35 (Spring, 2016)
  • What Frog Evolution Can Teach Us
  • A Day in the Life of a Chicory Flower
  • Of Machines, Organisms, and Agency
Issue #34 (Fall, 2015)
  • Is a Science of Beings Possible?
  • DNA and the Whole Organism
  • Amazonian Impressions
  • Portraying Soils and Compost: Color, Form, and Pattern
Issue #33 (Spring, 2015)
  • Do Frogs Come from Tadpoles?
  • Evolution: A Third Way?
  • An Open Secret — The Calyx of Ipomoea purpurea
  • Portraying Soils and Compost: Color, Form, and Pattern
Issue #32 (Fall, 2014)
  • When Engineers Take Hold of Life: Synthetic Biology
  • Exploring the Exploratorium in San Francisco
  • Evolution as a Movement Toward Autonomy
  • Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking!
Issue #31 (Spring, 2014)
  • Goethe and the Evolution of Science
  • Of Weeds, Milkweed, and Monarchs
  • A New Book on the Heart and Circulation
Issue #30 (Fall, 2013)
  • From Mechanistic to Organismal Biology
  • Shattering the Genome
  • Rebirth of the Type
Issue #29 (Spring, 2013)
  • Rooted in the World (excerpt from book, Thinking Like a Plant
  • Plasticity, Stability, and Whole-Organism Inheritance Unity
  • Light in the Dark
  • The Form of Wholeness: Henri Bortoft on Multiplicity and Unity
Issue #28 (Fall, 2012)
  • Education and the Presence of the Unknown
  • Toward a Biology Worthy of Life
  • Eat to Regulate Your Genes?
Issue #27 (Spring, 2012)
  • Context-Sensitive Action
  • Form and the Electrified Organism
  • Holding Gently: A Story of Social Practice
Issue #26 (Fall, 2011)
  • Phenomenon Illuminates Phenomenon
  • Promising Themes in Molecular Biology Contamination of Honey with GM Pollen
  • Genetically Modified Corn Is Leading to Insect Resistance
Issue #25 (Spring, 2011)
  • Mirror Images
  • Biological Engineering for Fun and Profit
  • A Modest Champion of the Whole Organism: Paul Weiss, Scientist of Distinction
Issue #24 (Fall, 2010)
  • The Experiment as Mediator of Object and Subject
  • A Shared Experience: Milkweed and Its Myriad Companions
  • An Unexpected, Submicroscopic Journey
Issue #23 (Spring, 2010)
  • Context Matters —the Epigenetics Revolution
  • The Drama of Milkweed Pollination
  • Goethe at MIT
  • More Unintended Effects of Genetic Manipulation
Issue #22 (Fall, 2009)
  • When Holism Was the Future
  • A Critique of the Modern Gene — From 1930
  • Can Biologists Speak of the “Whole Organism”?
  • Milkweed: A Brief Photoessay
Issue #21 (Spring, 2009)
  • Evolution Evolving
  • Form and Color in the Animal Kingdom
Issue #20 (Fall, 2008)
  • Save the Phenomena: The Primacy of Unmediated Experience
  • Ants, Acacias, and Herbivores
  • Digital Evolution?
  • A South African Initiative
Issue #19 (Spring, 2008)
  • Understanding the Nontarget Effects of Genetic Manipulation
  • Some Examples of Nontarget Effects of Genetic Manipulation
  • Toward a More Informed GMO Debate
Issue #18 (Fall, 2007)
  • Transformation in Adult Learning
  • Two Moons?
  • Toward a Participative Science
  • The Earth as Seen from the Moon
  • The Poorly Targeted Gene
Issue #17 (Spring, 2007)
  • Putting Genetic Miscalculation on the Record
  • Morphological Effects of Genetic Manipulation
  • E. coli and a Sick Food System
  • Stepping Out of Old Ruts
  • Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum)
  • Remembering Ourselves
Issue #16 (Fall, 2006)
  • Can We See with Fresh Eyes: Beyond a Culture of Abstraction
  • Light and Objects
  • Direct Experience
  • The Other End of the Cow
Issue #15 (Spring, 2006)
  • Understanding Infection: Not a Battle, But a Housecleaning
  • Conversation Between Friends: An Inspiration for Goethe's Phenomenological Method
  • Will Biotech Feed the Hungry? — Looking Closer to Home
  • The Light of Sense Experience
Issue #14 (Fall, 2005)
  • The Gene: A Needed Revolution
  • The Forming Tree
  • Wildlife Observations
  • Commentary on DNA Barcoding in Bioscience
  • Aristotle’s Opinion of Modern Physics
  • The Paradox of Physics Envy: The Mental Universe
Issue #13 (Spring, 2005)
  • From Two Cultures to One: On the Relation Between Science and Art
  • Brain Activity and Conscious Experience
  • Waitomo: New Zealand's Glow-worm Caves
Issue #12 (Fall, 2004)
  • Genes Are Not Immune to Context — Examples from Bacteria
  • The Giraffe in Its World
  • Quantum Puzzles
  • The Building-Block Universe
Issue #11 (Spring, 2004)
  • From Wonder Bread to GM Lettuce
  • Science and the Child
  • The Trouble with Genetically Modified Crops
  • Widespread GM Contamination of Seed Supply
  • Genesis of the Gene
Issue #10 (Fall, 2003)
  • The Giraffe’s Short Neck
  • Qualities
  • Words, Mechanisms, and Life
  • The Form of Evolution
  • Assessing a Pig's Life
Issue #9 (Spring, 2003)
  • How Does a Mole View the World?
  • To Explain or Portray
  • The Case of Mexican Maize
  • African Impressions (Part 2)
Issue #8 (Fall, 2002)
  • Portraying a Meadow
  • Love and Detachment: How We Can Reconnect with Nature
  • Do Organisms Merely Survive?
  • African Impressions (Part 1)
  • The Tyranny of a Concept
Issue #7 (Spring, 2002)
  • The Dynamic Heart and Circulation
  • The Lure of Complexity (Part 2)
  • Of Ideas and Essences
  • Seeing the Rainforest
  • Small Manipulation — Big Effect
Issue #6 (Fall, 2001)
  • What Forms an Animal
  • The Lure of Complexity (Part 1)
  • The Trouble with Qualities
  • The Great Green Hype
Issue #5 (Spring, 2001)
  • Elephantine Intelligence
  • Life Beyond Genes — Reflections on the Human Genome Project
  • Why Not Globalization?
Issue #4 (Fall, 2000)
  • Skunk Cabbage
  • The Ghostly Machine
  • About SENSRI
  • Water's Obstinate Meanderings
Issue #3 (Spring, 2000)
  • Where Do Organisms End
  • The Straitening of Science
  • Toward a "Final Theory" of the Sloth?
  • What Do Experiments Prove?
  • Experiential Physics
Issue #2 (Fall, 1999)
  • The Implications of Kurt Goldstein's Holism
  • Can Phenomena Be Saved?
  • Where Shall the Mind Look for Itself?
  • Killing to Understand
  • Bloodroot through the Year
Issue #1 (Spring, 1999)
  • Genes and Life: The Need for Qualitative Understanding
  • Are Animals Robots?
  • The Obscure Wisdom of the Potter Wasp
  • A Way of Knowing as a Way of Healing
  • Words of Dedication at the Founding Celebration
  • Goethean Science
  • Ecological Agriculture Enters the Mainstream
  • Seduced by Abstractions
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