[Coral-List] Sea Angels and Mermaids

David M. Lawrence dave at fuzzo.com
Tue Nov 24 12:32:47 EST 2009

We could just get back to "science" if science operated in vacuum.  It 
doesn't.  It is a social endeavor, a human endeavor, and the reasons why 
we do science is as important as how we do it and what questions we ask. 
  For some, coral research may be merely an academic enterprise.  For 
others, it might be they love an excuse for being at sea.  For still 
others, they may be passionately concerned with the fate (and 
management) of one of the Earth's most fascinating ecosystems.

The "why" bits spill out into ways that people of differing genders view 
the world -- or have been taught to view the world.  For instance, I 
believe there is research to the effect that men tend to be more 
reductionist, whereas women tend to be more holistic in how they view 
environmental systems.  These differences affect how the research is 
done, how the results are interpreted, and how the information obtained 
is used to manage limited resources.

And questions of opportunities granted to aspiring researchers in a 
field are always relevant.



Eugene Shinn wrote:
> When the Coral-List began it was intended as a way for scientists to 
> communicate with other scientists. What happened? Its now Sea Angels, 
> Mermaids, politics, and advertisements for coral management (social 
> engineering) jobs. What ever happened to coral reef research? Can't 
> we get back to science and away from all this moralizing? Gene

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