Biophilia — Mike Dickison

Edward O. Wilson

Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard University entomologist, coined the term "biophilia", referring to humans' "love of living things" - our innate affinity with nature. Wilson describes biophilia as the "innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes."

Debate for and against the idea of biophilia and their implications can be seen in publications such as The Biophilia Hypothesis - A collection of invited papers supporting & refuting the biophilia hypothesis - edited by Kellert & Wilson

I’m interested in exploring the universality and common basis of our relationship with the environment. In particular, how do we reconcile our universal biophilia with the destructive effect we have on the natural world? I’m also interested in challenging idealised Western representations of indigenous peoples worldwide as ecological caretakers, and exploring how we can move beyond these simplistic binary oppositions to develop an environmental ethic for the 21st century.

Mike Dickison – My PhD training is in evolutionary biology, specialising in evolution of flightless birds, and the global history of extinction in general. I’ve also worked as a graphic designer and teach visual thinking techniques to scientists. PhD 2007 Duke University: The Allometry of Giant Flightless Birds. Currently employed as a learning advisor at the University of Canterbury. Commentary on science, matuaranga Maori, and the natural environment (in press) Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand