Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the Founding of Ethology

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9780226080901: Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the Founding of Ethology
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It is hard to imagine, by their very name, the life sciences not involving the study of living things, but until the twentieth century much of what was known in the field was based primarily on specimens that had long before taken their last breaths. Only in the last century has ethology—the study of animal behavior—emerged as a major field of the life sciences.

In Patterns of Behavior, Richard W. Burkhardt Jr. traces the scientific theories, practices, subjects, and settings integral to the construction of a discipline pivotal to our understanding of the diversity of life. Central to this tale are Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen, 1973 Nobel laureates whose research helped legitimize the field of ethology and bring international attention to the culture of behavioral research. Demonstrating how matters of practice, politics, and place all shaped "ethology's ecologies," Burkhardt's book offers a sensitive reading of the complex interplay of the field's celebrated pioneers and a richly textured reconstruction of ethology's transformation from a quiet backwater of natural history to the forefront of the biological sciences. Winner of the 2006 Pfizer Awad from the History of Science Society

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About the Author:

Richard W. Burkhardt Jr. is professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Spirit of System: Lamarck and Evolutionary Biology.

Review:

"At last, a really excellent and complete account of ethology's checkered history. What emerges in Patterns of Behavior is a vivid demonstration that science is a human activity whose progress is influenced both by personality and by cultural context. This is a most distinguished contribution to the history of science." (Aubrey Manning, author of An Introduction to Animal Behavior)

"A fascinating and often entertaining account of the life and work of some of ethology’s key figures. Burkhardt has done a tremendous job, meticulously analysing and describing the rise of ethology. . . . In order to study the genomic or neural mechanisms of bevaviour, we need to know how behaviour works, and for that an ethological analysis is crucial. This wonderful book shows very clearly how early ethologists made such analysis possible."

(Johan J. Bolhuis Nature 2005-06-09)

"Patterns of Behavior offers more than a nuanced history of the origins of ethology. The juxtaposition of the stories of Tinbergenand Lorenz provides an intriguing case study of how the advancement of scientific fields depends as much on the management of the
social relations among scientists as on intellectual brilliance and institution-building." (Sharon Kingsland Science 2005-07-08)

"This is a masterpiece. Twenty years in the making, this is the definitive account of the development of ethology. Beautifully written and immensely rich in detail, Patterns of Behavior is a wonderful reconstruction of the lives of the two founders of ethology, Niko Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz . . . Patterns of Behavior is essential reading for anyone who teaches or conducts research in animal behaviour, anyone interested in the history of science, or those who simply want to discover how two very different personalities
created an entirely new way of looking at animals." (T. R. Birkhead Animal Behaviour 2005-12-01)

"Not knowing one's roots is a common mistake in the early development of scientific disciplines, a problem that Burkhardt's thoughtful, comprehensive and readable book should help to resolve. It should be read by all animal behaviour researchers to help put their own efforts into perspective." (Michael Taborsky TREE 2005-12-01)

"Burkhardt beautifully describes both the human story and the science that has come out of it. An excellent book." (Colin Tudge Biologist)

"The most authoritative history of the field of ethology... A remarkable achievement. It brings together an immense amount of material in a scholarly, yet very readable, format. It also catches the enthusiasm of the participants in putting forward new ways of thinking about old problems, as well as some of the more acrimonious debates about particular issues."

(Jerry A. Hogan Ethology 2006-07-01)

"This monumental volume has been 26 years in the making and represents a mountainous effort of scholarship. . . . Burkhardt, a historian, makes a massive contribution to our knowledge of the development of animal behavior science. . . . A fascinating read, and a massive monument to the science of ethology." (Hans Kruuk Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences)

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. . . . I am convinced that  knowing the history of one's field makes for better instructors and so recommend that all students of aniumal behaviour read this book and most notably all those who teach it." (Luc-Alain Giraldeau Ecoscience)

"This long, detailed, massively documented history of the origins of ethology . . . is a labor of love by a master historian of science. . . . Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of science in the twentieth century." (Alfred Kelly American Historical Review)

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