[Coral-List] List Politics
Mike.Colella at MyFWC.com
Wed Nov 16 12:56:37 EST 2016
I agree with many of the sentiments being expressed. I would not like for coral-list, which often has many great incites, to become a political/propagandist stream. However, given recent political results I think discussing the future of coral reefs without politics becomes very difficult. Just like with climate change, all the research in the world will not help conservation if politics, policy and the general populace do not follow or reflect on that research in a positive manner. If a young prospective scientist told me they wanted to study reefs to make a difference in conservation I would tell them they'd be more effective in that regard as a politician or a lawyer.
Forget about the coral reefs themselves. Many of the people trying to conserve coral reef systems by providing sound research are not tenured professors at academic institutions. For us, this will hit much harder.
Going back to the letter. It does read very political and does seem to be very opinionated, which I don't like to see in academia. I believe a professors job is to present the facts of any argument/situation regardless of opinion and let the student develop their own thoughts; otherwise education is more akin to brainwashing. However, I believe that this letter was really meant more as a pep talk which undoubtedly should be needed. It is hard enough to make a living and find work in coral reef science for someone with knowledge and experience. For many of these students who have just devoted four years and a significant sum of money to do this work these election results are potentially devastating. I believe that Steve was simply trying to pass that pep talk on.
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