IGN 12-10
Condensation and ignition in ecological research: Making sense of biodiversity’s demise

Thursday, August 14, 2014
313, Sacramento Convention Center
Shahid Naeem, Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY
You have three choices – observe, theorize, or test theory.  Therein lies the staid, fifty-year old core of academic ecology.  In reality, ecologists bring together natural history facts, theoretical constructs, statistical methodologies, and environmental data, forming cloud-like masses of scientific knowledge.  If, and only if they condense, like star birth, they ignite discovery and fire up the imagination of our students, peers, the public, the environmental sector, and funders.  Making sense of biodiversity’s demise over the last two decades, for example, has less to do with theory and empiricism, than the condensation that was triggered by an environmental crisis.