Emma Marris Receives 2013 Breakthrough Paradigm Award

Environmental Writer Has Challenged Dominant Views of Nature

The Breakthrough Institute honored author and journalist Emma Marris in June with the 2013 Paradigm Award in recognition of her intellectual leadership in reimagining conservation for the 21st century.

Marris has demonstrated a singular commitment to scientific evidence — wherever it takes her — in questioning longstanding assumptions about nature and creating a compelling and vibrant vision of life in the Anthropocene.

Marris's book, Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World, argues for a new understanding of nature, one in which humans are intimately involved in shaping our planet. Nature can be found everywhere — from green patches in urban alleys to coffee plantations to the African Sahel. It ought to be viewed no longer as "untouched" by human kind, but instead as a wonderful, “rambunctious garden,” in which the wild and manmade intersect.

Rambunctious Garden was hailed by critics as "an insightful analysis of the thinking that informs nature conservation" and "the most important book about the environment in a generation."

The Paradigm Award is given annually to individuals whose work is accelerating the transition to a future where all the world's inhabitants can enjoy secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling lives on an ecologically vibrant planet. UK environmental writer Mark Lynas received the award in 2012 for “embodying our collective commitment to dialogue and understanding” through his willingness to rethink longstanding positions on controversial environmental concerns in the face of new evidence.