Nelson Institute professor Elizabeth Hennessy featured in the Washington Post

March 2, 2020

An article written by Elizabeth Hennessy, assistant professor of history and environmental studies at UW-Madison and author of “On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden,” received national recognition with its recent publication in the Washington Post. In her article, “We’re trying to keep the Galapagos pristine. That might destroy them,” Hennessy challenges the traditional ideas of conservation that have historically guided efforts to protect the Galapagos islands. By focusing on restoring the islands to an idealized state before human impact, Hennessy writes that conservationists fail to recognize the evolutionary forces that have shaped the past, the present, and will continue to shape the future of the Galapagos. Recognizing the inability of humans to control nature, Hennesy urges conservationists to stop trying to restore the past, and begin looking towards the future. For this, Hennessy stresses that the root causes of environmental crises, such as the impact of human economies, must be addressed.

To read the full article, click here.