Like the other BES journals People and Nature is awarding an annual prize for the best article by an early career researcher. This will be named the Rachel Carson Prize. Rachel was a renowned marine biologist and award-winning author, who greatly advanced the global environmental movement. She is perhaps best known for her seminal book Silent Spring. Less well known is her book The Sense of Wonder, which was published posthumously (and unfinished), and in which she sought to inspire people to experience nature in the belief that this would engender greater care for it. These two contributions, and many of Rachel’s other works, capture critical components of the ethos of People and Nature.

Winner of the Rachel Carson Prize 2019

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2019 Rachel Carson Prize is Beth Brockett, a Social Science Specialist at Natural England for her Research Article Guiding carbon farming using interdisciplinary mixed methods mapping.

Beth Brockett, winner of the Rachel Carson Prize 2019.

Associate Editor, Yvonne Buckey said of Beth’s paper:

“This paper exemplifies the approach of People and Nature, it demonstrates the importance of investigating the ecological and social aspects of carbon farming together. The benefits of the integrated “mixed methods” approach to mapping carbon are clearly articulated, in particular the tensions between qualitative and quantitative findings were a rich opportunity for new insights. Scientific breakthroughs are often made when tensions between previously held beliefs or hypotheses are confronted with new data or new ways of looking at the world.”

Beth has also written a blog post about nature conservation and social science and being a social scientist at Natural England.

Runner-up of the Rachel Carson Prize 2019

This year, People and Nature are also nominating a runner-up for the prize and this goes to Eleanor Tew, a conservation scientist at Forestry England for her Research Article Quantifying cultural ecosystem services: Disentangling the effects of management from landscape features.

Eleanor Tew, runner-up of the Rachel Carson Prize 2019.

Lead Editor, Kai Chan said of Eleanor’s paper:

“Eleanor Tew et al.’s paper makes an important contribution to understanding how changes in the biophysical characteristics of a site impact the non-material values that people attribute to the site. This is a question of fundamental importance as we struggle to balance the protection of material contributions from nature to people with maintaining places that people want and love. Tew et al. develop novel participatory mapping methods to approach this question quantitatively and rigorously.”

Eleanor has also written a blog post about her paper and the process of writing it and getting it published.

You can read more about the Rachel Carson Prize 2019 and the winning papers across all of the BES journals here.