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Is conservation biology "good" science?

WARD at ukanvm.cc.ukans.edu WARD at ukanvm.cc.ukans.edu
Mon Oct 25 02:04:54 EST 1993

    How Do You Reconcile Doing Both "Good" Science
         and Science Relevant to Conservation?
  I would appreciate your thoughts on several
questions intended for a panel discussion to be held at
12-14 November 1993.  (Please see the posted flyer for
registration information and other details.)  For this
panel discussion, we have asked the invited speakers to
address the following topic: ** Reconciling "Good"
Science with Conservation Imperatives: Problems and
Prospects **.  We believe that many young biologists
today are struggling to find a research program which
satisfies both their intellectual interest and their
environmental conscience.  Many of us greatly desire to
contribute in some way to finding solutions to global
environmental problems, but the routes for doing this
are either unknown or difficult.
* Does this conflict exist for you personally?  What
  have you done, if anything, to resolve it?
* Should our research priorities be based on
  conservation merit?  Should we postpone work on more
  esoteric subjects to concentrate on conservation
  issues, given the tremendous environmental problems
  all around us?
* Can one succeed in biology and still address
  questions that are relevant to conservation?  Is it
  possible to obtain tenure-track academic positions
  by doing conservation research?
* In your opinion, is conservation biology "good"
* Does a generational gap exist regarding this
  conflict, i.e., did it not exist for researchers who
  entered the field 20-30 years ago?
* What subject areas in biology are particularly ripe
  for basic research _and_ which will make important
  contributions to conservation?
* How does one obtain grant money for doing
  conservation biology?  Is the NSF making a shift
  from the funding of basic research to the funding of
  questions of more applied nature?  Conversely, are
  granting agencies that typically fund applied
  research (e.g., the EPA, USDA) beginning to fund
  basic science?
* What would you be working on if funding was less of
  an issue?
* Are there questions we have left out?  What would
  you ask a panel of distinguished scientists
  regarding this subject?
  Please post your response to the bionet.population-
bio newsgroup so that I may easily find it.  But if you
would prefer to write to me directly, I may be reached
          ward at ukanvm.cc.ukans.edu
          Gordon C. Ward
          Dept. of Systematics & Ecology
          Haworth Hall
          University of Kansas
          Lawrence, KS 66045-2106

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