Wildlife Science: Gaining Reliable Knowledge
Society for Range Management
Like the Kalbab deer herd, progress In wildlife science may be headed for a crash under the weight of unreliable knowledge. Knowledge, the set of ideas that agree or are consistent with the facts of nature, is discovered through the application of scientific methods. There is no single, all-purpose scientific method; instead, there are several, each suited to a different purpose. When the set of scientific methods is incomplete, or when one method is used for a purpose better fit by another, or when a given method is applied without paying strict attention to the control of extraneous influences, then these errors of misuse cause knowledge to become unreliable.
H.C. Romesburg. 1985. Wildlife Science: Gaining Reliable Knowledge. (Invited abridged version of the article "Wildlife Science: Gaining Reliable Knowledge," Journal of Wildlife Management, 1981, 45(2):293-313) Rangelands, 7(6):249-255.