Conservation biology emerged in the mid-1980s, drawing on established disciplines and integrating them in pursuit of a coherent goal: the protection and perpetuation of the Earth's biological diversity. Opportunistic in its borrowing and application of knowledge, conservation biology had its roots within the established biological sciences and resource management disciplines but has continually incorporated insights from the empirical experience of resource managers, from the social sciences and humanities, and from diverse cultural sources. The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) has represented the field's core constituency, while expanding that constituency in keeping with the field's integrative spirit. Conservation Biology has served as SCB's flagship publication, promoting research, dialog, debate, and application of the field's essential concepts. Over the last 20 years the field, SCB, and the journal have evolved to meet changing conservation needs, to explore gaps in our knowledge base, to incorporate new information from related fields, to build professional capacity, and to provide expanded opportunities for international participation. In turn, the field, SCB, and journal have prompted change in related fields, organizations, and publications. In its dedication to advancing the scientific foundations of biodiversity conservation and placing that science at the service of society in a world whose variety, wildness, and beauty we care for conservation biology represents both a continuation and radical reconfiguration of the traditional relationship between science and conservation.