Blogging about ecology feels rather pointless and trivial right now. There’s nothing I can say about bigger issues that others aren’t already saying much better. But right now, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, it doesn’t feel right for this blog to stick to its usual narrow beat. So here are some things I read this week, from academics and others, that informed and inspired me to do what I can. I hope some of you find them helpful too.
Barack Obama on how to make this moment the turning point for real change.
Robert Sellers on how long must we wait?
Social scientist Jennifer Doleac on what research tells us about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to improving policing. And here’s a summary of that literature from data scientist and black activist Samuel Singyanwe. And here’s a piece from Singyanwe on the data on police killings, which suggest that progress is possible.
Political theorist Jacob Levy on “folk theory as ideology“–the danger of assuming that what governments should do is what they normally do. From years ago, but more relevant today than ever. Helps explain why governments–but not protestors–tend to get the benefit of the doubt when they act in ways they shouldn’t.
Sociologist Kieran Healy on the politics of disorder.
Economist Alex Tabarrok on the exorbitant privileges of police unions.
ESA Black Ecologists statement.
University strategic planning in the time of coronavirus, with a focus on the Canadian context.
The WHO, prominent scientists, and several national governments appear to have been scammed by a dodgy US doctor who claimed to have assembled a huge database of data on coronavirus patients. The dodgy data (which sounds like it may not even be real data…) formed the basis of multiple high-profile papers in top medical journals. Here is further coverage of this story from Science.
John Burn-Murdoch on how Spain’s data on new Covid-19 deaths are junk, in a way that (intentionally or not) makes the situation there appear much better than it actually is. Criticizes data aggregators like Johns Hopkins and the ECDC for republishing Spain’s numbers.
Sweden’s top epidemiologist admits that, in retrospect, Sweden’s approach to the coronavirus outbreak was wrong and resulted in too many deaths.
Dan Bolnick’s advice on giving a good recorded video lecture for a virtual scientific conference.
NY Times obituary for icthyologist John Randall. I hadn’t known about him until I read the obituary, icthyology being far from my field. But wow, what an amazing career!
The 50th anniversary issue of TPB is open access. Check it out for commentary on the most important papers in TPB history. (ht a correspondent)
Am Nat releases the director’s cut of
Fig. 2 of Oksanen et al. 1981. I’m going to start calling all author corrections of publisher errors “director’s cuts”. 🙂