SS 24
A Game Show for Ecological Science: The Shark Tank of Societal Relevance

Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
301, Baltimore Convention Center
Paul R. Armsworth, University of Tennessee
Heather M. Leslie, Brown University
Viewed over long enough time periods, academic disciplines come and go. What will happen to ecology? For ecology to continue to grow in influence, ecologists need to research questions that are relevant to society and to coming global challenges. They also need to be able to communicate how their science is relevant to wider society in bite-size, easily digestible, form. This Special Session will examine whether ESA’s finest are up to the test.

Paralleling the structure of The X-factor, Shark Tank and other popular talent shows, 10 ecological researchers will each be given 4 minutes to pitch an ecological research project to a panel of judges and a further two minutes to answer their questions. The judges will be high profile figures drawn from nonprofits, for-profits and public agencies. The judges will assess project ideas based on the extent to which they hold promise for significantly improving the condition of biodiversity or the well-being of people. Audience members will also vote for the project that they feel has greatest societal relevance. The winner will receive a beer and our encouragement to write NSF a grant proposal on the topic, with the knowledge that both intellectual merit and broader impacts will be improved, thanks to the 'sharks.'

See more of: Special Sessions