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Politics And Culture Pose Hazards In Global Rain Forest Exploration

Nationalism is major issue in much of developing world as U.S. scientists seek to learn more about this endangered ecosystem When Harvard entomologist E.O. Wilson thinks about the 1950s, his recollections are tinged with more than a little nostalgia. Not because life was necessarily better then, he explains. But his kind of science was certainly easier to do. Wilson, a noted authority on tropical ants and widely recognized as the "father" of sociobiology, the study of how biological traits in

Frederic Golden


Nationalism is major issue in much of developing world as U.S. scientists seek to learn more about this endangered ecosystem
When Harvard entomologist E.O. Wilson thinks about the 1950s, his recollections are tinged with more than a little nostalgia. Not because life was necessarily better then, he explains. But his kind of science was certainly easier to do.

Wilson, a noted authority on tropical ants and widely recognized as the "father" of sociobiology, the study of how biological traits influence human behavior, recalls fondly his visits to Amazonia as a young field biologist. "You could go to a country like Brazil, collect specimens without worrying about permits, and not have to deal with suspicious government officials who might impede your way," he says.

Not anymore. Although the need is greater than it has ever been, modern scientists face several obstacles in their quest to conduct research in the world's rain...

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