[Coral-List] What can scientists do: ARE YOU READY?

Alan E Strong Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
Thu Jan 10 21:34:30 EST 2008

Hi Sarah - Outreach is a "contact sport" isn't it??
ICRS should just empower each of us even more!


Sarah.Friastorres at noaa.gov said the following on 1/10/2008 1:47 PM:
> In the world of publish or perish, the scientist that spends time going
> from research to actual implementation of his/her discoveries commits
> professional suicide. Every second spent on making a difference and
> actually saving the world, is a second not spent publishing one more
> peer-reviewed publication. Obtaining a job in research/academia, tenure
> and promotion are based on number of publications and impact factors, 
> so
> are decisions on whether or not awarding you the research grant that 
> will
> keep you alive from one year to the next.
> Chances are, the people that can make a change, the people that need 
> the
> most to learn about your research, will never, ever read your high 
> impact
> factor peer-reviewed paper. They don’t have access to the best trained
> people, the scientists. If you have a deadly form of cancer, would you
> like to have the best oncologists in the world using their research
> knowledge on you? Or do you want them to spend all their time busy with
> their publications and impact factors and relegate your treatment to 
> well
> meaning but not so well informed nurses?
> So my dear coral scientist, whether you work at the genetic level or 
> chase
> after whale sharks…. Are you ready for a revolution? If you really care
> about what you study (and probably you do because you are reading this
> post), take the time to TAKE ACTION, to implementation, as one coral-
> list
> post said. Go and talk to the people. I’m not saying just print a 
> poster
> with colorful pictures, or write an article for a newspaper, (which are
> good starters to get people interested), but if your research shows 
> that a
> coral reef is being destroyed by pollution, or boat anchors, or blast
> fishing, spend the last few days of your fieldwork talking to the 
> people
> of the village/town/city, and explain what the problem is, take them
> snorkeling so they can see the devastating effects of their actions. 
> Join
> forces with NGOs and conservation minded institutions, and donate your
> time to help their outreach efforts. Find a way to bring that
> peer-reviewed publication to the people that can actually make a 
> decision
> and make a difference.
> To the people in charge of making decisions about hiring new 
> scientists in
> research or academia, take a chance for once in your life, and give at
> least an interview opportunity to the candidate that might not have
> published in Science or Nature, but might have actually saved some 
> coral
> reef, or at least made a serious effort at conservation. The same goes 
> for
> those in charge of deciding on research grants.
> Finally, in the upcoming International Coral Reef Symposium, not one
> session is dedicated to scientists taking action. If there is one, it’s
> hiding somewhere never to be found. Let’s get together somewhere at 
> let’s talk frankly on what we can do, and how we can do it. If any ICRS
> organizer is reading this post, please, let’s open the door for an
> informal meeting (the beach will be right there…) so we can kick-start
> this revolution. If you are ready for action, or a scientist in an 
> ivory
> tower angry at my post, or are a recruiter or a funding agency really,
> really angry at what I said, or you have some idea you want to share,
> contact me at sfrias_torres at hotmail.com.
> Take action
> Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D.
> CIMAS RSMAS-University of Miami & MRAG Americas
> sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
> DISCLAIMER: this post does not represent the views and opinions of any
> institution the author if affiliated with, nor any funding agency that 
> has
> funded her research.
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**** <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* 
Alan E. Strong, Ph.D.
NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Senior Consultant
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program
  e-mail: Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

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