Curious Minds: The Discoveries of Australian Naturalists
National Library of Australia, $39.99 pb, 213 pp, 9780642277541
Curious Minds sets out to explore the naturalists and scientists who brought Australia’s flora and fauna into the public consciousness: on the face of it a laudable aim, but one not totally fulfilled. From the title onwards the book seems confused in its aims and in its style. Is the book intended to be about people (the curious naturalists), flora and fauna (their discoveries), or both? Does it aim to provide new insights about the twenty-six selected naturalists and the culture within which they worked, or is the intent to provide a popular, even slightly scurrilous, account of the lives of selected individuals?