All Duke PhD students in ecology are required to enroll in a class entitled Ecological Perspectives: Evolution to Ecosystems. The syllabus covers two subdisciplines of ecology, taught collaboratively by faculty from each subdiscipline with no cross training. Only two out of 16 students identified with either subdiscipline. What did the instructors learn?
Preservation of natural spaces, species, and resources were viewed as being intimately linked to preservation of the white race and its power. The rhetoric boiled down to essentially this: preservation of nature means preservation of what belongs to white people, the superior race and the only race qualified to steward these resources.
Can you leave academia, take a long break, and come back? I talk about my experience of being a returner to science and how I am taking up mentoring to share my experience with others.
When plants made their foray onto land 460 million years ago, they weren’t alone; along with them evolved a new type of fungi, without which the first plants would likely not have survived. Fast forward to the present, and those same fungi now inhabit the roots of 80-90% of modern vascular land plants, offering nutrients in exchange for carbohydrates, with groups ranging from coveted truffles to species with newly discovered symbioses in the Mucoromycotina, previously thought to be only parasitic or saprophytic.
That graphic cliff of emissions is telling us we cannot keep doing the same thing – as if that inconvenient report never came out – we cannot keep flying everywhere to network and hear each other talk in person
This is a series of posts entitled “Reflections on the Past”, by Hari Sridhar. To view the full series visit: http://www.reflectionsonpaperspast.wordpress.com
Academics should question whether advising students to do as we do, or follow in our footsteps, is really the best advice for students.