Thank you, Paul. I have re-listened to the interview, and the actual words from the Nobel-laureate professor are: “All science is about measurement” (said in connection with bird counting). If you want to listen to it on the Radio National Breakfast website, it is under “Sentinel Chickens” (name of the book) at 8.13am, that bit 7m 30s into the interview.
From: Paul Fennell [
Sent: Tuesday, 31 July 2012 10:06 AM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Not drowning, counting
It all seems a bit counter-intuitive to me
You might have heard on Radio National this morning Dr Peter Doherty talking about his new book, and giving a big plug to bird-counting by amateurs as an important contribution to the science of ornithology. In passing he mentioned the aphorism: “All science is counting”. This makes me slightly uneasy because it is a short step to “All counting is science”, a doubtful proposition, but entertained by some. You need to count the right things, surely. So many counters out there, so many things.