[Coral-List] SCIENTISTS AND THE WIDE WORLD RE: Good News from Australia

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 22 05:57:41 EST 2008

Quenton,As I have said in previous posts to coral-list, it is NOT an ESS (Evolutionary Sustainable Strategy) for any research scientist to work or talk outside the peer-reviewed literature. Those who do, are punished at once. Much like in Plato's Myth of the Cave, those of us who have been in the outside world (outside academia and peer-review) and report back on the realities on how coral reefs, and mangroves, and marine life in general is increasingly at risk, even after the volumes of scientific articles published... once we point at what the realities are, we are no longer research scientists. We have wasted our time, because even saving a coral reef, will not count as much as having one more peer-reviewed publication. Promotion, tenure, and funding is based solely on number of peer-reviewed publications. So every minute spent on talking to TV, to politicians, to people at large, and tell them what really is going on, is a minute wasted. I made this statement during the scientists/journalists session at ICRS this summer, and it was true then and now. The Australian news your bring is just one more example. It is not that "we scientists need to get our act together" it is that science, in particular, marine science, and that concerned with the conservation of life in this planet, needs a new model, where it reconnects once again with society. Galileo Galilei and Charles Darwin published their groundbreaking theories in easy to read books. And nobody doubts of their validity as research scientists.In a world flooded with print, video, TV, internet, and all sorts of media, we should move beyond the peer-reviewed system to evaluate someone's value as a scientist. A true scientist will also make a great effort of being a true communicator, to other scientists (the world minority) and to the non-scientists (the rest of the world). I think this is the only way there will be any surviving coral reefs, and any marine diversity left to talk about when we are old and wrinkly and talk to our grandchildren. Otherwise, we might as well tell a story about Snowhite and the Seven Little Coral Reefs, or the Sleeping Beautiful Coral Reef, or something of that sort.SarahSarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D.
Marine Conservation Biologist
Ocean Research & Conservation Association
1420 Seaway Drive, 2nd Floor
Fort Pierce, Florida 34949 USA

> From: qdokken at gulfmex.org> To: billy.causey at noaa.gov; oveh at uq.edu.au> Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 21:24:01 -0600> CC: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; eshinn at marine.usf.edu> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Good News from Australia> > This line of discussion highlights one of the great failures and challenges> of science today - the ability to accurately get science into the public's> awareness and understanding.  Journalists, lawyers, courts, vested> interests, etc have distorted fact to support a position or advance a> financial interest.  Scientists as a rule are not geared to working outside> of peer reviewed literature.  The reality is that peered reviewed science is> not driving society - spin masters are.  Just tune your TV to any political> talking head program to see reality driven by opinion/ideology and not fact.> We in science should be finding ways to work together to support scientific> reality based on fact rather than biased interpretation. I believe that if> scientists can get their act together, there are many that are ready to> follow. > > Quenton Dokken, Ph.D.> Executive Director> Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Inc.> PMB 51  5403 Everhart Rd.> Corpus Christi, TX 78411> > 361-882-3939> 361-442-6064 cell> > qdokken at gulfmex.org> www.gulfmex.org> > > > -----Original Message-----> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Billy Causey> Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2008 11:32 AM> To: Ove Hoegh-Guldberg> Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; Gene Shinn> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Good News from Australia> > Ove ....> Your research and peer-reviewed science speaks for itself.  We are half > a world apart, yet your observations have been as relevant for the Wider > Caribbean, as they are for the Western Pacific.  The only difference is > that our problems started about 10-12 years in advance of your's.  But > now ... we are all suffering the sames woes.    Keep up the great work > ...... and I am confident that you will not let postings like this one > distract you from your research.  Billy> > Ove Hoegh-Guldberg wrote:>> Thank you Gene.  >>>> Now that you have dredged this up, I feel it is important to let the>> readership know, needless to say, that the column is full of misquotes>> and inaccuracies.  Perhaps not surprising given that the columnist>> (Andrew Bolt) is well-known for his endless 'opinions', poor>> understanding and disregard for the truth.  In this respect, he claims>> that there is no science (none at all!) behind global climate change,>> nor truth in the fact that Australian aboriginal people were mistreated>> in recent history (this is despite many victims still being alive>> today).  With respect to his disregard for the truth - Andrew has been>> successfully sued for defamation and other inaccuracies>> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Bolt). What more can I say?>>>> This source is neither accurate nor science-based, and perhaps should>> not have appeared on coral list.>>>> Regards,>>>> Ove>>>> Ove Hoegh-Guldberg>>>> Smart State Premier's Fellow (2008-2013), Director, Stanford Australia;>> Reviewing Editor at Science Magazine, and Deputy Director, ARC Centre>> for Excellence in Coral Reef Studies; BLOG: www.climateshifts.org>>>>>> -----Original Message----->> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Gene Shinn>> Sent: Saturday, 20 December 2008 12:28 AM>> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>> Subject: [Coral-List] Good News from Australia>>>> Good News from the Melbourne Australia Herald Sun. "PROFESSOR Ove >> Hoegh-Guldberg, of Queensland University, is Australia's most quoted>> reef expert.>> He's advised business, green and government groups, and won our rich >> Eureka Prize for scares about our reef. He's chaired a $20 million >> global warming study of the World Bank.  >> In 1999, Hoegh-Guldberg warned that the Great Barrier Reef was under >> pressure from global warming, and much of it had turned white.>> In fact, he later admitted the reef had made a "surprising" recovery.>> In 2006, he warned high temperatures meant "between 30 and 40 per >> cent of coral on Queensland's great Barrier Reef could die within a >> month".>> In fact, he later admitted this bleaching had "a minimal impact".>> In 2007, he warned that temperature changes of the kind caused by >> global warming were again bleaching the reef.>> In fact, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network last week said >> there had been no big damage to the reef caused by climate change in >> the four years since its last report, and veteran diver Ben Cropp >> said this week that in 50 years he'd seen none at all."  Gene>>>>   > > -- > Billy D. Causey, Ph.D., Regional Director> Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region> National Marine Sanctuary Program> 33 East Quay Road> Key West, Florida 33040> > 305.809.4670 (ex 234)> 305.395.0150 (cell)> 305.293.5011 (fax)> > Billy.Causey at noaa.gov> > _______________________________________________> Coral-List mailing list> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list> > No virus found in this incoming message.> Checked by AVG. > Version: 7.5.552 / Virus Database: 270.9.19/1859 - Release Date: 12/20/2008> 2:34 PM>  > > No virus found in this outgoing message.> Checked by AVG. > Version: 7.5.552 / Virus Database: 270.9.19/1859 - Release Date: 12/20/2008> 2:34 PM>  > > _______________________________________________> Coral-List mailing list> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

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