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Of love and betrayal

It’s probably the right time of year to re-post a link to this interview with Robin Dunbar of Oxford University from a few years back (I’m deducing this from the fact that I’ve already had Valentine’s wishes from charities and memory card suppliers today and been invited to ‘fall in love with’ an ‘air-conditioning solution’, […]

Continue Reading · 14 February, 2017 · natural history, podcasts, science and philosophy
pat shipman

Of stones, bones, and wolf-dogs

In Pat Shipman’s recent book, The Invaders (Harvard University Press, 2015), she argues that our last close relative, the Neanderthals, were driven to extinction not solely by climate change – though that played its part – but by the incursion of an invasive species: homo sapiens. We modern humans – the invaders of Pat’s title […]

Continue Reading · 8 April, 2015 · anthropology, natural history, podcasts
barely imagined beings

From imaginary beasts to barely imagined beings…

Caspar Henderson‘s 21st-century bestiary, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, is one of the most imaginatively conceived and beautifully produced books I have come across in the past couple of years. In the introduction, Caspar describes how the book was inspired when he was on a riverside picnic – Alice-style – in Oxford a few […]

Continue Reading · 10 January, 2014 · natural history, podcasts, science and philosophy

46. Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity

“Elephants are not treated much differently now than they were in the mid-eighteenth century: they are objects of awe and conservation, yet legally hunted, made captive, abused, and forced to labor for human gain. What then has research and learning served?” In Elephants on the Edge, Gay Bradshaw makes an eloquent but always scientifically reasoned […]

Continue Reading · 17 January, 2011 · natural history, podcasts, science and philosophy