Modern scientific culture is in desperate need of change. “Science” today implies groups of specialists working in disparate disciplines while searching for answers to narrowly defined questions that have little or nothing to do with the real, living world. During recent years, however, there has been a shift toward more integrated, holistic approaches to the ways we view and understand our world. Nonetheless, much work remains to be done in this area. Most people have come to accept a fragmented culture in which science has isolated us from the natural world that pervades and surrounds us, leading us to feel we can manipulate and dominate it as we please.
Brian Goodwin, the acclaimed author of How the Leopard Changed Its Spots, argues for a view that sees nature as complex, interrelated networks of relationships. He proposes that, before we can once again work in harmony with nature to achieve true sustainability, we must adopt a new science, a new art, a new design, a new economics, and new patterns of responsibility. We must be willing to give nature its due—we must recognize what we actually owe to the natural world and resist selfish exploitation.