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Ecology: The Science Versus the Myth

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This paper describes the foundations of ecology as a science and argues for adherence to scientific principles in the environmental arena. Ecology as a science does not present moral or ethical guidance for societal use in environmental management. Moral, ethical, economic, and political values are integral parts of environmental management, but they are derived outside the realm of science. We emphasize the importance of preserving the power of science as a methodology to acquire objective information separated from societal values. Environmental Risk Assessment is a process that engages and requires both the life and social sciences for successful environmental management.

Keywords: ecology; environmental risk assessment; environmentalism; societal values

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: ecological planning and toxicology, inc., 5010 S.W. Hout Street, Corvallis, OR 97333-9540 2: Institute for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Huxley College of Environmental Studies, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-91809

Publication date: August 1, 1998

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