[Coral-List] Science and advocacy

Glazer, Bob Bob.Glazer at MyFWC.com
Fri Jul 20 12:02:12 EDT 2012

The alternative on this list to advocacy is censorship.  I prefer advocacy. 

Robert Glazer
Associate Research Scientist
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
2796 Overseas Highway, Ste. 119
Marathon, FL 33050 USA
bob.glazer at myfwc.com

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Steve Mussman
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2012 9:19 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Science and advocacy

   It is most certainly hyperbole to claim that the coral list has been taken

   over by advocacy groups. But the question remains as to how scientists

   are supposed to "advocate for appropriate application of the science they

   produce" without fear of threats and accusations of impropriety. After all

   scientists, although highly trained to be impartial, seem commonly afflicted

   with all the frailties of human nature.

   And how many pinches of salt must be taken if the private sector comes to

   dominate future research funding? The only way to offset the likely effect

   would  be  to  envision  the  unlikely  prospect of the "fortresses of

   university  professors and government agencies armed with the level of

   required to adequately face the challenge.

   -----Original Message-----
   >From: Quenton Dokken
   >Sent: Jul 19, 2012 4:48 PM
   >To: 'Magnus Johnson' , coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
   >Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Science and advocacy
   >I agree with Magnus, Gene does not owe anyone an apology. Scientists do
   >walk a fine line between detached scientific investigation and advocacy.. I
   >do believe that scientists should protect their data and conclusions from
   >those who would distort the facts and truth of their scientific
   >investigations. They should advocate for appropriate application of the
   >science they produce. On the other hand, they must be disciplined enough to
   >not be stampeded by the emotions surrounding any issue.
   >The issue of bias based on funding is a discussion that will never go away.
   >The fact is that there is not adequate funds to conduct all the scientific
   >investigations that need to occur. And, there is a loud voice in the U.S.
   >saying that funds should be cut from the already inadequate research pools
   >(i.e. the smaller government team)! And, universities keep turning out more
   >young scientist to compete for the funds that do exist. I believe that the
   >private sector will fund more and more research in the future.
   >Quenton R. Dokken, PhD
   >Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Inc.
   >PMB 51 5403 Everhart Rd.
   >Corpus Christi, TX 78411
   >3833 South Staples
   >Suite S-214
   >Corpus Christi, TX 78411
   >361-882-3939 office
   >361-882-1260 fax
   >361-442-6064 cell
   >1-800-884-4175 toll free
   >qdokken at 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 Magnus Johnson
   >Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 7:12 AM
   >To: coral-list at coral..aoml.noaa.gov
   >Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Science and advocacy
   >I don't think Gene does owe the list an apology, I've seen a fair bit of
   >advocacy on this list but that doesn't make it a bad list.. I'm not quite
   >sure it's very easy to separate science and advocacy. People (especially
   >scientists) like to think that scientists are geeky or spock-like (coldly
   >logical). Many that I know are deeply passionate about their topic and the
   >environment - especially those drawn to dolphins, coral reefs and sharks.
   >I don't mind advocacy, as long as its backed up by facts and it is clear
   >is funding the advocate. E.g. if you are funded by Pew, WWF or Greenpeace
   >or similar "Fortress Conservation" type organisations I'll probably take
   >what you say with a pinch of salt. If you are a university professor or
   >government employee, I'll take a smaller pinch of salt.
   >Cheers, Magnus
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