Science, sentiment and territorial chauvinism in the acacia name change debate

January 27, 2012

Hot off the press:  a paper that Priya Rangan and I wrote on the acrimonious battle over which continent’s trees should keep the latin name “Acacia“.  It is a topic on which we wrote several blogs last year in the run-up to the Melbourne IBC conference (1, 2, 3).  We review the acacia battles as a manifestation of long-standing struggles in science between between folk- or place-based classification systems and universal, scientific approaches.  As a bonus, the paper quotes both Shakespeare (on names) and a rather politically incorrect Monty Python episode (on wattles as an Australian emblem)…

Kull, C.A. & H. Rangan (2012)  Science, sentiment and territorial chauvinism in the acacia name change debate. 197-219 in S.G. Haberle & B.David (eds), Peopled Landscapes. Terra Australis 34.  Canberra: ANU E-Press. pdf