Inventing Global Ecology: Tracking the Biodiversity Ideal in India

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


Lewis examines whether ecologists from western nations created a new colonialism by imposing western conservation ideals on third world environments. He concludes that sometimes they have but, in other cases, they worked with the local people to produce local solutions. Focusing on Indian ecologists such as Madhav Gadgil and Salim Ali, Lewis presents case studies where Indians were able to adapt the most appropriate of western thinking to Indian needs. Ali, a close colleague of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, first brought ecology to India, setting a precedent for successful Indian adaptation of such ideals.


  • Ali, Sálim 1896-1987
  • Gadgil, Madhav
  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001


Smithsonian History Bibliography

Citation information

Ecology and History Series, edited by James L. A. Webb

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Ecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Biological diversity
  • Conservation



Physical description

Number of pages: 379; Page numbers: 1-369

Full Record

View Full Record