I am indebted to Aaron Berdanier and his wonderfully named ‘biological posteriors’ blog for directing me towards a highly recommended article on the Evolution of Ecology by Simon A. Levin in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Ecology is a scientific discipline, like physics or molecular biology, whose practitioners are driven by the search for patterns and process in nature.
Like Aaron I love this quote which for me personally makes my perseverence with the role title of knowledge ecologist wholly worthwhile. Not only that but also the need to study:
the ecological context within which organisms exist and interact, and
how whole communities and ecosystems emerge from evolutionary processes at the microscopic level
the importance of coevolution — how evolving populations influence one another
and niche construction — how organisms shape their own ecological roles and those of other organisms
I have spent all day putting together training and support materials for what I am calling ‘Exploring the narrative landscape – an ecological approach to knowledge sharing’ for a soon to be launched offering and finding this article has further inspired me to stick with the ecological terminology. Don’t think that ecology simply provides a metaphor for business and knowledge management. An ecological approach provides a genuine insight into how we can make sense of any system, be it biological, organisational or in the example given at the end of this excellent article, the banking system.
I find it ironic that Levin discusses the bringing together of ecology and economics in a week that there is genuine concern that Natural England will be forced to sell off its National Nature Reserves that English Nature so lovingly nurtured (please don’t tell Tesco). I only hope they hold out for the true market value as every single one of them is priceless or at the bare minimum each could pay off the National debt.
In closing I would suggest you read in full Simon Levins article and take note when he says:
Ecologists make their living by recognizing the interconnectedness of different parts, and different disciplines.