[Coral-List] Science difficult to read

Nohora Galvis icri.colombia at gmail.com
Tue Sep 22 17:17:14 UTC 2020

Dear John,

Great post, we all should improve our communication skills !!
Communicating Multidisciplinary Science to save coral reefs is URGENT.
However, most PhDs are very specilialized in one discipline. For example
biology, counting a very small portion of an organism and without further
experience feel experts on coral reefs conservation: The big picture !!

That attitude may become very dangerous, if they got funding to distort
what we as a whole multidisciplinary scientific / practitioner community
should be empowered to recommend considering our philosophical
transdiciplinary background and long experience. Some even think, the
issue, it is about figithing for funds, in stead of pointing out for
alternative solutions to tackle local and global threats.

It is relevant to ask ourselves, if our projects are tackling a limiting
factor, when there is already natural sexual and asexual reproduction of
corals... But their biodiversity and survivorship are low due to
anthropogenic impacts that cause morbidity and mortality. Causes like
pollution, overfishing, dredging, global warming etc., are still

In stead of supporting unsustainable development, we with all the
multidisciplinary scientific knowledge and the huge number of publications,
should face it and confront it. We all together should present specific
alternatives that are sustainable and environmental friendly. For instance,
communicate effectively to decision makers the need to stop enlarging
Chanels, big ports and cables passing on coral reefs.

It would not save coral reefs, promising to developers that by receiving
millions of USD, some scientists can build monospecific reefs in one or few
years to replace the biodiverse ecosystem that lasted centuries to accrete
and may be destroyed by unsustainable development projets in seconds !!

Money talks !! But When Science will talk?

Nohora Galvis
Twitter @ArrecifesCoral / @ICRIvolombia
Instagram ObservatorioArrecifesCoral

El lun, sep 21, 2020 16:06, John Ware via Coral-List <
coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> escribió:

> Dear List,
> The recent mail from Doug Fenner (thanks Doug) mentioned the following
> two interesting observations:
> *Papers are increasingly impenetrable.
> *
> *Science is getting harder to read *
> Those few that have read my comments on reef science that were published
> in Reef Encounter (1991) may recall that basically what I meant is:
> *Global warming, bad for reefs but great for coral-reef scientists. *
> In RE in 2019 I demonstrated that, between 1988/89 to 2019 there has
> been an approximately 4 fold increase in the number of papers appearing
> in Coral Reefs and the percentage of papers with more than 5 authors has
> increased by a more than a factor of 20.
> What I should have predicted back in 1991, and mentioned in 2019, is
> that the papers will be increasingly looking at finer and finer elements
> of coral ecology.  In the 'old days' reef scientists swam over reefs and
> counted fish or corals or whatever.  Now, there is this finer and finer
> tuning on what is going on inside corals and the zoox.
> This reminded me of an event from my past.  Many years ago I shared an
> office with a man who had been the Chief Engineer for the construction
> of the Los Angeles class submarines.  One of his favorite comments on
> 'progress' was:
> "The scientists have gotten to the point that they can exam a flea and
> tell you what hair on the dog the flea came from.  But they are not sure
> what dog the hair was on."
> Are we in danger of losing the 'big picture'?
> John
> --
>   John R. Ware, PhD
>   President
>   SeaServices, LLC
>   302 N. Mule Deer Pt.
>   Payson, AZ 85541, USA
>   928 478-6358
>   jware at erols.com
>   http://www.seaservices.org
>    Become a member of the International Coral Reef Society
>    http://www.coralreefs.org
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