Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (2023) 47(1): 1–2

doi: 10.1080/21683565.2023.2135244


Copyright © 2022, Taylor and Francis. Used by permission


In writing about the history of agroecology we too often ignore the valuable contributions of British scientist James Lovelock who recently died on his 103rd birthday. A prolific inventor and influential theorist, Lovelock is best known for the Gaia hypothesis first proposed during his innovative work in the 1960s with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He suggested that ‘the biosphere has a regulatory effect on the Earth’s environment that acts to sustain life’ as written in Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (Lovelock 1979). Lovelock further proposed that humans have strongly impacted the planet’s capacity to maintain this vast, living, self-regulating system.