[Coral-List] Fwd: No geology,Plenary Speakers Program

David M. Lawrence dave at fuzzo.com
Fri Jan 14 12:33:31 EST 2011

The activity may be "fraught..." but the activity is engaged in all the 
time in science.  We all know this.  Some questions are interesting, but 
not important.  Some questions may be important, if not all that 
interesting.  Some good research may be dismissed as SOS (same old ...).

The old criteria for a dissertation that I used to hear was "a major 
contribution to knowledge," which in itself implies that someone goes 
through the "activity" to determine whether a particular project is 
worth undertaking, or whether it is worth the conferring of a degree.  
Sure, someone's ox gets gored if they work is deemed too unimportant to 
be of much worth (despite the propaganda about the value of 
curiosity-driven research).

So my question still seems to be a right one, if not "the" right one.  
(I doubt there is a "the" right question.)  What is going on from a 
geological standpoint that would be worthy of a plenary session in 
itself?  My guess is that the geological perspective will be 
incorporated into many of those sessions.  What we need are people who 
understand and can communicate the progress of, interdisciplinary 
contributions to, and significance of the research, rather than a quota 
system ensuring that a sufficient number of folks with x, y, or z 
written on their sheepskin are headliners.


On 1/14/2011 12:13 PM, Michael Risk wrote:
> If there really is an issue here, then the Organizing Committee should provide a list of the criteria they used in their selection process. But I return to my original point, which is that importance depends on one's point of view. David's question would ask us to rank the importance of questions, which is an activity which is fraught... Bob points out the importance of mesophytic reef systems, an area in which he has been a prime mover.

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