Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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Natural history is the study of organisms including plants or animals in their environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. It encompasses scientific research but is not limited to it, with articles nowadays more often published in magazines than in academic journals.[1] Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study of any category of natural objects or organisms.[2] That is a very broad designation in a world filled with many narrowly focused disciplines. So while natural history dates historically from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to the scattered European Renaissance scientists working in near isolation, today's field is more of a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences. For example, geobiology has a strong multi-disciplinary nature combining scientists and scientific knowledge of many specialty sciences.
A person who studies natural history is known as a naturalist or "natural historian".
Contents  [hide] 
1 Definitions
1.1 Historical
1.2 Modern
2 History
2.1 Ancient times
2.2 Mediaeval
2.3 Birth of scientific biology
3 Museums
4 Societies
5 See also
6 References
7 Further reading
8 External links

The English term "natural history" is a translation of the Latin historia naturalis. Its meaning has narrowed progressively with time, while the meaning of the related term "nature" has widened (see also History below). In antiquity, it covered essentially anything connected with nature or which used materials drawn from nature. For example, Pliny the Elder's encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, covers astronomy, geography, man and his technology, medicine and superstition as well as animals and plants.
Until well into the nineteenth century, knowledge was considered by Europeans to have two main divisions: the humanities (including theology), and studies of nature. Studies of nature could in turn be divided, with natural history being the descriptive counterpart to natural philosophy, the analytical study of nature. In modern terms, natural philosophy roughly corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, while natural history included the biological and geological sciences. The two were strongly associated. During the heyday of the gentleman scientists, many people contributed to both fields, and early papers in both were commonly read at professional science society meetings such as the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences – both founded during the seventeenth century.
Natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus' aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden.[3] Similarly, the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits.[4]

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Pictures Photos Images 2013
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