Aeon recently published an essay by the environmental historian, Professor Libby Robin, on how islands have played central roles in shaping dominant ideas about biodiversity and ecology. Beginning and ending at Surtsey in Iceland, Robin crosses the globe in her discussion, raising questions on a number of issues, from contemporary approaches to habitat management, to the plight of refugees seeking Australian citizenship. 'The concept of the island has long been prominent in literature and useful in science: biologists and geographers, national park managers and archaeologists, linguists, geneticists and evolutionary theorists have all turned at times to the model of the island. Yet it might no longer be a great model for the new needs and concerns of our rapidly globalising century.'
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