Weeds on the Lapel: Biology and Jewelry (Biology TODAY)
The American Biology Teacher 2007, Jan, 69, 1
The American Biology Teacher
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I get a lot of junk email and quickly delete messages that have odd titles and are from unknown recipients. That's how I almost lost a great message with the heading: Invasive Species Tiara. This was definitely odd, and I didn't know the sender, but something made me not hit the "delete" button, and I'm very glad I didn't. The message was from Jan Yager, the creator of Invasive Species: An American Mourning Tiara--a real piece of jewelry crafted of gold and silver (http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion object stories/tiara/index.html). I had mentioned this work in a presentation I gave at a conference. Jan read about it on the Web (http://media.schoolofvisualarts.edu/ sva/media/1403/large/Proceedings2005.pdf) and contacted me--one of the advantages of electronic communication, enough to balance out the annoyance of junk email. I cited Yager's Tiara as an example of the relationship I see between jewelry and biology. Wearing ornaments representing plants and animals strikes me as a manifestation of biophilia. The biologist Edward O. Wilson (1984) defines biophilia as an innate human urge to have contact with other species. Wilson describes it in relation to a need to spend time in natural environments, surrounded by animals and plants. We also attempt to satisfy our biophilic desire by surrounding ourselves with plants, pets, and representations of plants and animals. In an earlier ABT article, I described the depth and breadth of this penchant in terms of TV shows and art works (Flannery, 2001). I've also written about the relationship between biophilia and interior decoration (Flannery, 2005). However, such representations are found not only in our homes but on our persons, in the form of jewelry. Since biophilia seems to be a genetically influenced trait, it's not surprising that personal adornments with representations of plants and animals are found in cultures throughout the world. This is true both now and in the past. I want to lay out evidence for this claim here and also present the argument that making students aware of biophilia and its manifestations is a way to heighten their sensitivity to environmental issues and to illustrate how biology relates to other parts of our culture.
- 2,99 €
- Category: Life Sciences
- Published: 01 January 2007
- Publisher: National Association of Biology Teachers
- Print Length: 16 Pages
- Language: English