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
this year's MIDWEST CONFERENCE ON POPULATION BIOLOGY,
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
* What would you be working on if funding was less of
* 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
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045-2106