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Showing posts from January, 2021


3. Upholding the Role of Science

  Scientific integrity must be defended, our planet depends on it To conserve Earth’s remarkable species, such as the violet sabrewing, we must also defend the importance of science. Jeremy Kerr , Author provided Euan Ritchie , Deakin University ; James Watson , The University of Queensland ; Jeremy Kerr , L’Universit√© d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa , and Martine Maron , The University of Queensland Science is the best method we have for determining what is likely to be true. The knowledge gained from this process benefits society in a multitude of ways, including promoting evidence-based decision-making and management. Nowhere is this more important than conservation, as the intensifying impacts of the Anthropocene increasingly threaten the survival of species. But truth can be inconvenient: conservation goals sometimes seem at odds with social or economic interests . As a result, scientific evidence may be ignored or suppressed for po

2. The uneasy Relationshp between Science and the Media

  Way off balance: science and the mainstream media When a relationship goes off course, it can be hard to refocus attention. Digitalnative Stephan Lewandowsky , University of Bristol and Steven Sherwood , UNSW THE STATE OF SCIENCE: Has there been a communication breakdown between science and the media and, if so, is the damage terminal? In the concluding instalment of our series, Stephan Lewandowsky and Steve Sherwood take the pulse of a troubled relationship. Some marriages are made in heaven, others end in divorce. And then there are those that drag on until both partners have One Foot in the Grave. What about the marriage between science and the media? Few would think it was made in heaven. And parts of the media probably deserve to be divorced for reasons that have already been discussed on The Conversation . That leaves most of science and much of the media in an uneasy and never-ending alliance much like the Mildrews . Th

1. Why scientists are no longer speaking out

                                                                                                         -Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay   Brian Martin , University of Wollongong The 2017 March for Science was a powerful political statement by scientists. The marchers opposed political interference, budget cuts and lack of support for science at a government level. More commonly, though, scientists stay in their labs and avoid the public political spotlight. CSIRO scientist John Church – who initially acted as an individual (not a representative of his research institution) to “ stand up for science ” in 2015 – is cited as a recent example of the career ramifications that can flow from public activity. Actually, he’s not alone. For years, outspoken scientists have encountered career difficulties and personal repercussions. But climate science and the advent of digital and social media shape how scientists speak publicly about science now. Decades of attacks on scient

Why aren't our Scientists shouting from the Rooftops?

  -Image by Robert Jones from Pixabay       People from overseas have been asking why we aren't doing more to protect our koalas, why there hasn't been more action about bushfire prevention and why our policies don't reflect the urgency of Climate Change. Just when Climate scientists could be saying, “Nyah, Nyah, told you so," the majority are strangely silent. This is a great tragedy since most of the progress humans have made over the last 500 years or so – in health and sanitation, in technology and in mobility and communication, we owe to the work of scientists, yet now when our own lives, not mention that of almost every other species depends on them, we hear very little.  If you have also been scratching your head as to why there is such a disconnect between what is coming out the lab and the field and why a surprisingly large number of people who ought to know better, including many of our policy makers, are still in denial about Climate Change, even when the e

Interim Report

Mug Library at boho   Thanks for checking in! Just wanted to touch base with you quickly as  I’m now rushing through a course on Solid Waste Management and have a test tomorrow. I know it doesn't sound thrilling, but it has a lot of good ideas I hope to share with you later. In the meantime, just so you don’t go away completely empty handed, let me tell you about a nice little place I visited just before Christmas. What caught my eye initially about boho, one of many little coffee shops near the beach in Kingston, was the mug library (see above) out the front.   If you haven’t brought your own cup, you can borrow one of theirs and bring it back later instead of using disposable cups. This works especially well when you have regulars.   Looking out the window at the rain outside - definitely not a beach day!   The other thing I liked about the place apart from the excellent coffee, the roaring fire and the interesting collection of goods for sale – clothing, jewellery, houseware

The Wake for 2020

I'm sitting here with my headphones on and a (small) wineglass in my hand. I’m rushing to catch up on some of the courses I‘ve started and waiting for the fireworks to begin. A s far as the courses go, I have bitten off more than I can chew, but they all sound so interesting - some from Harvard, some from Oxford and a lot of other interesting establishments too, all online and free unless you want accreditation. Check them out here .  I have just finished Amnesty’s   Digital Security and Human Rights Course. It's an issue which is becoming more and more important with so many journalists being killed (50 in 2020 according to the bbc), others being gaoled or harassed, our governments becoming more secretive and our news media either being muzzled   (abc) or becoming little more than propaganda machines. As even democracies are starting to employ tactics we once associated with repressive regimes, we need to be aware and informed in order to protect our own human rights es