Ernst Haeckel Coins the Term “Oecologia,” or Ecology

Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), a German zoologist and follower of Charles Darwin, intended to designate a branch of biology called “oecologia,” which would deal specifically with how organisms relate to their “external world.” With the growing environmental consciousness in the second half of the twentieth century, the term, which translates as “ecology,” has since entered into common usage well beyond the narrow scientific confines of biology. It is now used with reference to a range of systems, from cultural, social, and economic to spritual, as well as being employed in the context of various environmental movements.

Further Readings: 
  • Haeckel, Ernst. Generelle Morphologie der Organismen: Allgemeine Grundzüge der Organischen Formen; Wissenschaft, Mechanisch Begründet durch die von Charles Darwin Reformierte Deszendenz-Theorie. Berlin: G. Reimer, 1866. E-book
  • Zigman, Peter M. “Monistische Hintergründe von Ernst Haeckel's ‘Oecologie’-Konzept in seinem Projekt einer reformierten Biologie.” In Jahrbuch für Europäische Wissenschaftskultur 3, edited by Olaf Breidbach und Stefano Poggi, 69-116. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2007.