The potential for scientific discovery is a frequent justification for biodiversity conservation. Yet we rarely acknowledge the species, conservation initiatives, and human communities that make our discoveries possible. I argue that biologists should make these links explicit in papers and other communications, and donate money or time to compensate species and human communities for their roles in discovery.
Rejection in ecology is something we all go through, so how do we not feel like a failure?
Insectivorous birds and bats help plants by removing herbivorous arthropods. Predator exclosures around the plants are needed to study this. What could be measured of the plants inside the exclosures and in uncaged controls? There are several possibilities that are listed in this post. There is need for more plant measurements in predator exclosure studies, especially in the natural tropical forests.
This is a recurring series of posts entitled “Reflections on the Past”, a series by Hari Sridhar. Hari interviews authors of well-known papers in ecology for first-hand accounts of the ins-and-outs of high-impact research. Posts in this series are archived at reflectionsonpaperspast.wordpress.com.
The problems with academia are multifaceted. The intense competition for positions and funding rewards numbers of publications and grant dollars brought in, rather than advances in understanding. Individual researchers cannot change this state of affairs without uniting to improve the system. While many issues need to be addressed, there is one revolution that researchers can start immediately: we can change the model of academic publication.
One ecologist’s experience with #365papers challenge popularized on Twitter