Track: Plenary Session
Scientific interfaces: Making meaningful connections to move ecology forward
Ecologists have long studied how ecosystem function and resilience are impacted by changes in the environment. The more we study and broaden our scope, the more we learn about the socio-ecological impacts of environmental change as they disproportionately affect marginalized communities. While at the same time, the voices, cultural values, and perspectives of these communities have historically been excluded or erased in Western science. Solving such complex environmental challenges will require new partnerships, connections, and collaborations that bring together many forms of knowledge, perspectives, and ways of communicating. We are at a unique moment where we can reimagine how science and scientists connect with society and the environment while re-centering the voices of knowledge holders from marginalized communities. To be trained as a scientist typically means being trained in a narrow process and set of rules. As scientists, educators, and experts, how can we broaden our value system to be more diverse and inclusive as we strive to solve the world’s most pressing ecological problems? Going beyond the peer-review publications and moving to include many forms of writings, knowledge sharing, artwork, and communication will be needed to find community-driven solutions to environmental problems. Respect, reciprocity, creativity, and a willingness to listen will be at the heart of shifting the way we train a new generation of ecologists.
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