Editorial Introduction

James Beattie

Several treats are in store in the second issue of the year. Professor John Andrews reflects on the fascinating interconnections between biology and history, why awareness of history plays a central role in various biological sciences as well as the role of scientists in writing history. Professor Yukiko Numata Bedford then analyses the delicate processes leading up to the construction of the “Peace Gardens”, Featherston, South Wairarapa. The garden has become the site of reconciliation and the coming together of different cultures and not least, a leitmotif of peace and hope for the future.

Two reviews appear in this issue: Dr. Edward D. Melillo considers the recent translation of Joachim Radkau’s thought-provoking Nature and Power: A Global History of the Environment, a new translation of a significant work on world environmental history which provides its reviewer with much food for thought. Chris O’Brien reviews Don Garden’s Droughts, Floods & Cyclones: El Niños that Shaped our Colonial Past, which analyses the impact of ENSO in the South Pacific and provides a model example of the importance of narrative history in reconstructing complex weather events.

Finally, continuing our new section which either introduces a garden or discusses a resource pertinent to New Zealand nature, Geoff Doube and Peter Sergel reflect on the ‘Chinese Scholar’s Garden’, Hamilton Gardens.