George Perkins Marsh Institute

William S. Lynn, Research Scientist

Lynn The George Perkins Marsh Institute
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477
508.395.7764 phone

Current Research Interests

Bill is a research scientist in the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University, and former Director of the Masters in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program at Tufts University. Schooled in ethics, geography, and political theory, his interdisciplinary approach examines why and how we ought to care for nature and society.

Sustainability is more than preserving a global elite's lifestyle or ensuring humanity's mere survival in an era of rampant environmental change. It is rather about sustaining the well being of people, animals, and nature across the planet, now and into the distant future. Sustainability needs, therefore, to be both scientifically and ethically sound. Its facts and values need to be transparent and accountable to society, while its goals must serve the good of the entire community of life.

With this understanding in mind, Bill explores the moral norms of ecological and social sustainability. He is particularly keen on public scholarship that brings academic insights to the wider public without unnecessary jargon or impenetrable theories. Some of the topics he addresses includes wolf recovery, outdoor cats and biodiversity, barred and northern spotted owls, the Canadian seal hunt, cosmopolitanism, the Earth Charter, precaution, rewilding, sustainability science, and urban ecology.

Selected Publications

Lynn, William S. 2016. Ethics, in Julie Urbanik and Connie Johnston, eds., Humans and Animals: A Geography of Coexistence. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio.

Lynn, William S. and Eric Strauss. 2016, forthcoming. Urban Ecology: Science and Ethics, in D. Iossifova, A. Gasparatos, and C. Doll, eds. Defining the Urban: Interdisciplinary and Professional Perspectives. Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing.

Way, Jonathan, and William S. Lynn. 2016. Northeastern Coyote/Coywolf Taxonomy and Admixture: A Meta-analysis. Canid Biology & Conservation 19 (1): 1-7.

Lynn, William W. 2015. Setting Aside Half the Earth for Rewilding: The Ethical Dimension. The Conversation, 26 August,

Lynn, William S. 2015. Australia's War on Cats: Shaky Science, Missing Ethics. The Conversation, 07 October,

Lynn, William S. 2015. Rewilding Week: The Ethical Imperative. Geographical,

Lynn, William S. 2015. The Ethics of Climate Change: What We Owe People - and the Rest of the Planet. The Conversation, 08 December,

Lynn, William S., John Hadidian, Kate Littin, Marcus Olsen and Jennifer Wolch. 2014. Urban Wildlife. Public Policy Web Feature. Ann Arbor, MI: Animals and Society Institute,

Lynn, William S. 2012. Barred Owls in the Pacific Northwest: An Ethics Brief. George Perkins Marsh Institute, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, 70 pp.

Lynn, William S. 2010. Discourse and Wolves: Science, Society and Ethics. Society & Animals 18 (1): 75-92.

Hadidian, Johh, Camilla Fox and William S. Lynn. 2008. Urban Wildlife, in Marc Bekoff, ed., Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare. Second edition. Westport: Greenwood Press, 565-568.

Lynn, William S. 2006. Between Science and Ethics: What Science and the Scientific Method Can and Cannot Contribute to Conservation and Sustainability, in David Lavigne, ed., Wildlife Conservation: In Pursuit of Ecological Sustainability. Limerick, IRL: University of Limerick Press, 191-205.

Lynn, William S. 2004. The Quality of Ethics: Moral Causation and the Interdisciplinary Science of Geography, in Roger Lee and David Smith, ed., Geographies and Moralities: International Perspectives on Justice, Development and Place, London: Blackwell, 231-244.

Lynn, William S. 2002. Canis Lupus Cosmopolis: Wolves in a Cosmopolitan Worldview, Worldviews 6 (3), 300-327.