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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > Thomas E. Lovejoy Quotes

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Thomas E. Lovejoy
(22 Aug 1941 - )

American biologist and conservationist who played a central role in the establishment of conservation biology, and has been called the “Godfather of Biodiversity.” Lovejoy was an early advocate for the preservation of the Amazonian rain forest.


Science Quotes by Thomas E. Lovejoy (5 quotes)


Different kinds of animals and plants live together in different places: camels in deserts, whales in the seas, gorillas in tropical forests. The totality of this diversity from the genetic level, through organisms to ecosystems and landscapes is termed collectively biological diversity.
— Thomas E. Lovejoy
From Reith Lecture, 'Biodiversity', on BBC Radio 4 (19 Apr 2000). Transcript and audio on BBC website.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Biological Diversity (2)  |  Camel (9)  |  Desert (27)  |  Diversity (46)  |  Ecosystem (21)  |  Genetics (98)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Landscape (23)  |  Live (186)  |  Nomenclature (129)  |  Organism (126)  |  Place (111)  |  Plant (173)  |  Rain Forest (21)  |  Sea (143)  |  Term (87)  |  Totality (9)  |  Whale (21)

It is nothing short of scandalous that we probably only know one out of every ten species on earth, let alone where they are or, various aspects of their biology, and … unless we really know what there is, and where it is, we’re gonna make some mistakes without even knowing we’ve made them.
— Thomas E. Lovejoy
From Reith Lecture, 'Biodiversity', on BBC Radio 4 (19 Apr 2000). Transcript and audio on BBC website.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspect (37)  |  Biology (150)  |  Earth (487)  |  Know (321)  |  Scandalous (2)  |  Species (181)

Natural species are the library from which genetic engineers can work. Genetic engineers don’t make new genes, they rearrange existing ones.
— Thomas E. Lovejoy
Speaking as World Wildlife Fund Executive Vice President, stating the need to conserve biodiversity, even plants and animals having no immediate use, as a unique repository of genes for possible future bioengineering applications. Quoted in Jamie Murphy and Andrea Dorfman, `The Quiet Apocalypse,' Time (13 Oct 1986), 128, No. 15, 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Biodiversity (8)  |  Bioengineering (2)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Gene (68)  |  Genetic Engineering (13)  |  Plant (173)

The natural world in which we live is nothing short of entrancing—wondrous really. Personally, I take great joy in sharing a world with the shimmering variety of life on earth. Nor can I believe any of us really want a planet which is a lonely wasteland.
— Thomas E. Lovejoy
In Reith Lecture, 'Biodiversity', BBC Radio 4 (19 Apr 2000). Audio on BBC website.
Science quotes on:  |  Earth (487)  |  Entrancing (2)  |  Joy (61)  |  Life (917)  |  Live (186)  |  Lonely (7)  |  Natural World (21)  |  Planet (199)  |  Sharing (7)  |  Variety (53)  |  Wondrous (7)

[A contemporary study] predicted the loss of two-thirds of all tropical forests by the turn of the century. Hundreds of thousands of species will perish, and this reduction of 10 to 20 percent of the earth’s biota will occur in about half a human life span. … This reduction of the biological diversity of the planet is the most basic issue of our time.
— Thomas E. Lovejoy
Foreword, written for Michael Soulι and Bruce Wilcox (eds.), papers from the 1978 International Conference on Conservation Biology, collected as Conservation Biology (1980), ix. As quoted and cited in Timothy J. Farnham, Saving Nature's Legacy: Origins of the Idea of Biological Diversity (2007), 208.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (52)  |  Biological Diversity (2)  |  Century (94)  |  Earth (487)  |  Human (445)  |  Issue (37)  |  Lifespan (6)  |  Occur (26)  |  Perish (23)  |  Planet (199)  |  Rain Forest (21)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Species (181)  |  Thousand (106)


See also:
  • 22 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Lovejoy's birth.
  • Environmental Profiles: A Global Guide to Projects and People, by Linda S. Katz, et al., eds. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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