Two Houses of Oikos – Press Release


Trent University Biology Professor’s New Book Takes Science to the People
by Dr. James Schaefer explores our relationship with the natural world

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 Peterborough

Science is too important to be a private reserve of scientists, says Trent University Biology professor and wildlife scientist Dr. James Schaefer. In his new book, Two Houses of Oikos – Essays from the Environmental Age, he stresses that we need a public interested and conversant in science.

The book is a collection of Professor Schaefer’s newspaper essays, where he explores our relationship with science, the environment, economy, and other living things. The pieces are wide-ranging and conversational, and in a style that is snappy, at times humorous, and always hopeful.

“The 21st century represents the age of the environment. We’ve arrived at a pivotal juncture in history − a period that will govern our future prosperity and the fate of countless species. More than ever, we need science,” says Prof. Schaefer. “Science is not merely a stack of information; it’s knowledge and the foundation for better understanding. It’s our job, as scientists, to convey that knowledge in ways that are as clear, as compelling, and as entertaining as we can muster.”

Two Houses of Oikos assumes its title from the Greek, oikos, meaning ‘house,’ the linguistic roots of ‘ecology’ and ‘economy.’ This common origin underscores the significance of both houses for human well-being.
A book launch will take place at the Sapphire Room, 137 Hunter St. West in downtown Peterborough on June 11, 5:00 to 7:30 PM. Everyone is welcome.

The book’s publisher, Moon Willow Press, is a small, independent publisher committed to helping sustain forests while celebrating the written word. “Given the theme of the book, it’s a good fit,” said Prof. Schaefer.

The author’s royalties will be donated to the Symons Trust for Canadian Studies, established in honour of Thomas H. B. Symons, the founding President of Trent University, to support and enhance the study of Canada.

Prof. Schaefer has been teaching at Trent since 1998. His research focuses on the population ecology and conservation of northern mammals. Much of his effort is directed toward conserving woodland caribou, the shy, secretive and threatened animals that live year-round in the boreal forest. Increasingly, Prof. Schaefer has been dedicating efforts to outreach – working to convey the science of ecology to non-scientists. He is a member of the International Boreal Conservation Science Panel and a Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program.