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What about nature?

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Jan 20, 2009, 7:34pm Top

I have several books about animals or ecosystems or the ocean. But there's not really a category for that, except science. Could we add one for nature?

Jan 20, 2009, 10:57pm Top

I agree. I have several books that are not necessarily about science, but which would fit better in a 'nature' category.

Jan 20, 2009, 11:05pm Top

But isn't an accurate description of nature one of the defining characteristics of science?

Jan 20, 2009, 11:06pm Top

The study of nature is within the domain of science, in my opinion.

Jan 20, 2009, 11:28pm Top

I'm not sure I agree. If it's a picture book all about animals, how is that just science? I think a separate category would work better.

Jan 20, 2009, 11:49pm Top

One work I was thinking of is this: http://www.librarything.com/work/5367568

An argument could be made for it being under the category of "science," sure. But it is not really a book about science; it is a book about a nature reserve. Books about parks and preserves would better fit under a nature category.

Another one I was thinking of is this: http://www.librarything.com/work/677752

Again, you could make an argument for herbalism to be science, but I'd be hard pressed to buy it. You don't hear words like "lore" and "legend" connected to science very often. There are plenty of works out there, like this, that take a very non-scientific view of nature. (Picture books about animals included.)

Jan 20, 2009, 11:57pm Top

I agree on the "nature" category, too. I was just going to categorize Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards. As the title indicates, it's sort of about gardening (or anti-gardening) and has some science mixed in, but in the end Nature (or ecology, or environment) would be a better way to describe it.

Jan 20, 2009, 11:59pm Top

Nature preceded science, thus nature deserves its own category, I'd say. :)

Or at least rename "Science" to "Science and Nature" as seems a common practice.

Jan 21, 2009, 12:15am Top

If they decided to combine them, I could live with that. But I was wondering about environmentalist themed books too.

Jan 22, 2009, 10:28pm Top

I think it should be Science and Nature as well

Jan 22, 2009, 10:42pm Top

What about the other end: Nature & Gardening?

Edited: Jan 22, 2009, 11:08pm Top

A Nature category would help with animals that aren't pets, too. That one (Pets) seems waaaaay too specific. The first one I had problems with was Born Free - there's also all my Gerald Durrell books

Edited: Jan 23, 2009, 1:37am Top

Changing pets to animals and changing "science" to "science & nature" sound like logical ideas to me. The only book I can really think of to put in a "pets" category would be Dewey. There may well be more books like this, but I would think such books would go just as well in a pets subcategory under animals.

Jan 23, 2009, 4:24am Top

I have tried to split up the Science bucket in the Testing thread, before I found this thread. So I'll just repost it here for discussion:
No Science top level category at all, but several categories that allow for hobbyists and professionals to find books of different detail level. If the arts and letters people can have a dozen top categories, why should we start with one?
NB: This is really quick and dirty (gotta go back to work):

>(I'll have to think about this)
Animals and Humans
>Wild Animals
>Domestic Animals
The Environment
>(I'll have to think about this)
>Meteorology, Climate
>other Planets
>Space Travel

Jan 23, 2009, 6:11am Top

>14 GirlFromIpanema:: Shouldn't space travel fall under travel, or transportation?

Jan 23, 2009, 6:14am Top

Intuitively, no. Where would you look for a book about the Moon flights? Next to the section on trains?
I am still ruminating on Physics, Biology and Chemistry. Do they go under Universe or Earth?

Edited: Jan 23, 2009, 1:16pm Top

I definitely agree that the Science category is too broad (and the Pets category is too narrow). However, trying to break down the Science category into its many disciplines is just asking for trouble, IMO. For instance, conservation and ecology are often duplicative; and distinguishing between geology and geography can be difficult within the field, let alone to a layman.

Instead, it might be easier to group the disciplines in broader terms, with a few subcategories. The following is from The Columbia Encyclopedia. It is just an idea that might lead to more research, but I would strongly suggest using the standards that are already in place, rather than creating newer (and perhaps more confusing) ones.

"Branches of Specialization

Science may be roughly divided into the physical sciences, the earth sciences, and the life sciences. Mathematics, while not a science, is closely allied to the sciences because of their extensive use of it. Indeed, it is frequently referred to as the language of science, the most important and objective means for communicating the results of science. The physical sciences include physics, chemistry, and astronomy; the earth sciences (sometimes considered a part of the physical sciences) include geology, paleontology, oceanography, and meteorology; and the life sciences include all the branches of biology such as botany, zoology, genetics, and medicine. Each of these subjects is itself divided into different branches—e.g., mathematics into arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and analysis; physics into mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, acoustics, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. In addition to these separate branches, there are numerous fields that draw on more than one branch of science, e.g., astrophysics, biophysics, biochemistry, geochemistry, and geophysics.

All of these areas of study might be called pure sciences, in contrast to the applied, or engineering, sciences, i.e., technology, which is concerned with the practical application of the results of scientific activity. Such fields include mechanical, civil, aeronautical, electrical, architectural, chemical, and other kinds of engineering ; agronomy, horticulture, and animal husbandry; and many aspects of medicine. Finally, there are distinct disciplines for the study of the history and philosophy of science."

Jan 23, 2009, 2:07pm Top

I think the Nature top-level would make things very messy. Where do you then put Animals? Under nature or biology? A book about Africas big cats fits under the Nature top-level just fine but also under biology->Animals->Mammals. Where would you look after the book
I see your point when suggesting it but will it make things easy to find i the end?

Edited: Jan 25, 2009, 6:59am Top

""For instance, conservation and ecology are often duplicative; and distinguishing between geology and geography can be difficult within the field, let alone to a layman."

In the other thread someone made the distinction between Science and Applied Science, as well. This would work here too, but it is not really intuitive, because you would need to know that Economy is applied Maths.
I think the distinction of Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences is pretty much what I tried to sketch with my #14 (physical sciences were missing, I know, but I wrote it quick and dirty between two meetings :-)). I added the umbrella category The Environment, because I thought about findability: Definitely easier to find a book about conservation there. Whether ecology belongs there, or in Biology, is TBD.
The whole Applied Science apparatus would need to be split up under umbrella terms that "speak" to the user.
-The Technical World (all sorts of engineering)
-The Business World (economy, careers, management and others)
-Food production (agriculture, horticulture, oenology, etc.); though the division between Food production and the Cooking section (under Hobbies?) will be difficult.
-and others...
(it's just too late for me now to think straight, let alone type straight ;-) ).

{edited a little to add to categories}

Feb 2, 2009, 1:54pm Top

Greetings! David and I have been busy compiling and analyzing all your comments, and a post with new top levels is forthcoming!

In the interim, take a look on Thingology (http://www.librarything.com/thingology) at the summary of the OSC meeting we had in Denver last weekend.


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