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Take a bookish delve into biodiversity with our top 10 reads

Hutton top 10 popular books
Hutton top 10 popular books
“We asked some of our top researchers and scientists here at The James Hutton Institute to suggest their top 10 more popular books to read that focus on our natural environment, the amazing life it contains, the challenges it faces and what we can do about it”

The UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) has a single aim; to agree a global framework on biodiversity.

But what is biodiversity and do we all value it as much as we should? What role does nature play in our lives and what should we be doing about the loss of it?

As we reach the mid-way point of COP15, and also edge closer to the festive holiday period, we decided to help you answer these questions.

We asked some of our top researchers and scientists here at The James Hutton Institute to suggest their top 10 more popular books to read that focus on our natural environment, the amazing life it contains, the challenges it faces and what we can do about it.

It’s a great list – especially if you’re looking for last minute presents to help your friends and family also get to grips with the amazing services the natural world provides to us, but also the joint biodiversity and climate change crises we face.

There is something for everyone. It’s a wide-ranging mix, from the entangled lives of fungi through to what a planet without capitalism might look like.

So, take your pick, shut out the cold, and delve into everything from how our rural landscapes have changed; how regeneration is taking place in Upper Deeside; the secret lives of insects or the world of wild swimming.

You can also check out our Countdown to COP15 calendar. Each day through COP15, a new door to the calendar opens to reveal some of our contributions to biodiversity research.

Andrew Painting, Regeneration

This is Andrew Painting's account of the ongoing conservation work taking place at Mar Lodge in Upper Deeside featuring not only the people who are protecting the land and quietly working to undo the wrongs of the past, but also the myriad creatures which inspire them to do so.

Giorgia Lupi and Stephanie Posavec, Dear Data

“This is a beautiful book and while not directly about the science that we do is vital reading for anyone who needs to turn their data into appealing graphs, figures and other visualisations.”

Simon Leather, Insects, A Very Short Introduction

This Very Short Introduction explores the extraordinary world of insects. From insect evolution, taxonomy and development through to their behaviour, their lifestyles, and the interactions they have with other insects and other animals.

Roger Deaking, Waterlog

Waterlog is a personal journey, a bold assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, and an unforgettable celebration of the magic of water.

Nathaniel Rich, The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare (also a movie, Dark Waters)

It’s no surprise this book became a film. It’s the story of a corporate lawyer who set out to uncover toxic pollution and hold the polluter accountable.

Dave Goulson, Silent Earth

Silent Earth is part love letter to the insect world, part elegy, part rousing manifesto for a greener planet.

James Rebanks, English Pastoral

English Pastoral is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope.

Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life

This is a journey into the hidden world of fungi, ranging from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that sprawl for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the ‘Wood Wide Web’ and even those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision.

Tim Jackson, Post Growth – Life After Capitalism

Weaving together philosophical reflection, economic insight and social vision, this book dares the reader to imagine a world beyond capitalism—a place where relationship and meaning take precedence over profits and power.

David Attenborough, A life on Our Planet

A Life on Our Planet follows Attenborough's career as a presenter and natural historian, along with the decline in wildlife and rising carbon emissions during the period. But it ends with a message of hope.

Press and media enquiries: 

Elaine Maslin, Media Officer, The James Hutton Institute, elaine.maslin@hutton.ac.uk, +44 01224 395089 or 0344 928 5428 (switchboard).


Printed from /news/take-bookish-delve-biodiversity-our-top-10-reads on 29/01/23 09:50:54 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.