Diversitas and Biodiversity: the roots of a 21st century myth

Riccardo Guarino, Sandro Pignatti, Riccardo Guarino

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

7 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

The first on conceptualization of what we now term “biodiversity” was given by Federico Cesi about 400 yrs ago. By the light of the first formulation of this concept, the historical changes in the human approach to “biodiversity” are discussed. The popularity of this term shifted from scientific to socio-political contexts and its significance became progressively blurred by eco-social implications. Biodiversity, today, is perceived by most as an ideal container of the remains of a vanishing traditional landscape, where man and nature lived together harmoniously. This is in contrast with the man’s desire for self-assertion, which has accompanied the civilisation process from its origins up to the birth of the ecology movements. While the present need to promote research on biodiversity arises from the desire to help organisms and ecosystems threatened by man, Federico Cesi and the first Linceans were inspired by the desire to “acquire knowledge and wisdom” in order to improve man’s condition. Between the Cesian view of diversitas and the modern perception of biodiversity, there is the same gap that marked the transition from a “traditional” world, longed for by modern man as an Edenic state, to a “modern” world, probably dreamt by the first Linceans as the point of arrival of a strongly innovative scientific ascent, which was taking its first steps during their time. The strong connecting element between diversitas and biodiversity is represented by a common epistemological approach, i.e. to delineate an exhaustive and shareable bulk of knowledge on living organisms, according to how they appear in the light of a collection of empirical data.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine7
RivistaRENDICONTI LINCEI. SCIENZE FISICHE E NATURALI
Volume21
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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