Justifying the Removal of Non-Natives: A Case Study from Hawaii

Tuesday, 2 October, 2012 - 18:00

Lockwood and NunuThe Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism and the Wits Creative Writing Programme invite you to a lecture by the award-winning writer, ecologist and philosopher,

Jeffrey A. Lockwood, University of Wyoming

Respondent Kevin Behrens, Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, Wits University

Tuesday, 2 October 2012 6–8 pm

WISER Seminar Room, 6th Floor Richard Ward Building,

East Campus, Wits

Light dinner and refreshments will be served

Justifying the Removal of Non-Natives: A Case Study from Hawaii

One of the more compelling issues in ecology and society is how we ought to respond to non-natives. The plan to extirpate a non-native grasshopper from the island of Nihoa provides a rich case in which to consider the ethical basis for our response to recently arrived life forms. Most of the rationales provided by conservation biologists fail in terms of being ecologically plausible, ethically sound or logically consistent. However, a sound basis may be found in terms of aesthetic value and moral virtue. While there are important differences between human and non-human immigrants, how we justify our actions in the environmental case may shed light on how we think about human nativity and colonialism.

Professor Jeffrey Lockwood has a PhD in Entomology from Louisiana State University. He teaches at the University of Wyoming, where he is Professor of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Adjunct Professor in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, and a faculty member in the MFA Program, the Department of Philosophy and the Graduate Program in Ecology.

Professor Lockwood is the author of three collections of essays – Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Loving and Killing (2002), Prairie Soul: Finding Grace in the Earth Beneath My Feet (2004) and A Guest of the World (2006). He has published essays in Orion, Wild Earth, High Country News, Conservation, Quest, the New York Times, Boston Globe and London Times. His critically acclaimed Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American Frontier was published in 2004 and his most recent book, Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War (Oxford, 2008) has been praised by historians, entomologists, epidemiologists, security experts, government agencies and a concerned public. In 2010 he co-authored Philosophical Foundations for the Practices of Ecology (Cambridge, 2010).  He has won a Pushcart Prize and a John Burroughs award and has been included in the Best American Science and Nature Writing. He is currently at work on The Infested Mind (Oxford, 2013), is an exploration of the ways in which insects have found their way into the human psyche from entomophobia and delusory parasitosis to nightmares and nursery rhymes.