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136 Science Communication 33(1) This reader found a few parts of the book slow going, if not difficult to follow; for example, the first chapters include quite lengthy boxed commentaries and case studies of uncertain relevance that break the flow of the main text, and footnoting at times seems overused and duplicative. Parts of the text seem unduly repetitive—notably, in explaining the purpose and organization of the volume early on and later in resummarizing key findings. Be that as it may, the authors refer to their work as mainly benchmarking the state of environment reporting during the past decade, and in this they laudably succeed. Jack Nisbet The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest. Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books, 2009. xiv + 290 pp. ISBN 978-1-57061-613-6 Reviewed by: Mark Anderson-Wilk Oregon State University, USA DOI: 10.1177/1075547011401041 David Douglas, the 19th-century Scottish botanist and explorer, continues to capture the interest of generation after generation through various popular and scientific texts (e.g., Barston, 1860; Davies, 1980; Douglas, 1914; Harvey, 1947; Hooker, 1836). Jack Nisbet’s new book, The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest, shows us how Douglas made an indelible contribution to science even though his approach to his work wasn’t conventionally “scientific.” The Douglas legacy is based in large part on the hundreds of plant species he identified in the Pacific Northwest of North America and introduced to Britain through his employment with the Horticultural Society of London. Douglas insisted on collecting hundreds of specimens and seed varieties in his travels, well beyond the expectations of his employer. Douglas was involved in an explosion of species naming; Nisbet illustrates how these scientific names are contextual to the time and place of their naming and sometimes exercises of vanity, personal fancy, or cultural colonialism, rather than scientific objective authority. Douglas became one the most; famous scientists of all time in spite of the fact that he did not have a notable formal scientific education. At the time he began his adventures, Douglas was overshadowed by scientists of the day, Downloaded from scx.sagepub.com at PURDUE UNIV LIBRARY TSS on May 25, 2015 Book Reviews 137 such as William James Hooker, the highly esteemed professor and director of the Kew Gardens, who had recommended Douglas to the Horticultural Society of London. Douglas was an avid learner but an antispecialist. While he got his start as a botanist-gardener, he sought out opportunities for self-guided learning about birds, mammals, geology, human cultures, and much more. Douglas believed that “in the pursuit of any subject, however lofty, a man may become narrow minded, and in a condition little better than moral servitude, but by embracing different subjects we need not fear on this head” (p. 216). The perpetual fascination with David Douglas owes much to his swashbuckling tales of adventure and intrigue. Throughout the book, Nisbet describes Douglas’s compulsion to document his adventures in his journals. Even in times of adversity and danger, Douglas would take time to record his thoughts and experiences in his journals. Douglas found that “such objects as I am in quest of are not obtainable without a share of labour, anxiety of mind, and sometimes risk of personal safety” (p. 129). In this way, Douglas’s life stands in contrast to today’s scientific protocols that demand scientists limit human exposure to risk. Douglas’s premature death in 1834 remains the unsolved mystery that persists with each new account of his life. He was exploring in Hawai’i at the time. His bull-rampaged body was found in a pit used to trap wild livestock. The story of David Douglas highlights that even with the best of science some perennial mysteries won’t ever be solved. We also learn from The Collector that influential science does not necessarily happen exclusively in a laboratory or textbook. References Barston, G. (1860). Abridged sketch of the life of Mr. David Douglas, botanist. Canadian Naturalist and Geologist, 5(1860), 20-32, 200-208, 267-278, 329-349. Davies, J. (Ed.). (1980). Douglas of the forests: The North American journals of David Douglas. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Douglas, D. (1914). Journal kept by David Douglas during his travels in North America, 1823-1827. London, England: Wesley. Harvey, A. G. (1947). Douglas of the fir: A biography of David Douglas, botanist. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Hooker, W. J. (1836). A brief memoir of the life of Mr. David Douglas with extracts from his letters. Companion to the Botanical Magazine, 2(1836), 79-82, 142-162, 177-182. Downloaded from scx.sagepub.com at PURDUE UNIV LIBRARY TSS on May 25, 2015