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MICHAEL R. CANFIELD: FIELD NOTES ON SCIENCE AND NATURE

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Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 8:00am

From the earliest times of the great explorer scientists like Darwin, Wallace and Bates, one of the key tools they have used to explore the natural world has been to keep a detailed field notebook.  Sometimes these have been merely annotated lists of the new plants, animals and peoples these natural historians came across. At other times these field notebooks have been profusely and beautifully illustrated and filled with the personal experiences of the scientists and then these journals become unique works of art. To this day, many botanists, zoologists, paleontologists and anthropologists consider keeping detailed field notes an important art to not only record their observations but to also keep a lively record of the field experience for generations to come. Tonight on Inquiry we welcome MICHAEL R. CANFIELD, Lecturer on Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He has edited a sumptuous volume of essays by some of the leading field researchers about how they keep a field notebook, why they do it and why these journals are critical. Canfield’s book, which includes numerous reproductions of scientists field notes and illustrations, is titled FIELD NOTES ON SCIENCE AND NATURE. 

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