Summary: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2003, 65, 10651068
Too much natural history, or too little?
STEVAN J. ARNOLD
Department of Zoology, Oregon State University
(Received 14 January 2003; acceptance 18 January 2003; MS. number: AAE-4)
A number of commentators have recently expressed concern about the fate of both natural history and
naturalists in the modern world. In this essay I examine those concerns from a historical perspective.
From this standpoint, I conclude that natural history is alive and well, but its future critically depends
upon conceptual infusions from adjacent disciplines. Naturalists are proliferating rather than dying out.
2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
The next time I find myself in a public debate about
natural history I am going to follow a colleague's advice.
I will keep my mouth shut. I made this resolve last
summer in Banff at the annual meeting of the American
Society of Naturalists. The Society's President, Peter
Grant, convened a symposium on the role of the natural-
ist in various contemporary contexts (e.g. genomics, bio-
logical invasions). During the symposium several