Friday links: RIP Georgina Mace, is vs. ought (online learning edition), and more

Also this week: a striking juxtaposition, and more.

From Jeremy:

ESA announces formation of a DEIJ task force.

Carl Bergstrom on how the University of Illinois’ plan to reopen for in-person classes seems to be working, at least so far. Which you wouldn’t know from reading the newspapers, or from most social media discussion. And some partial pushback from Daniel Simons.

OTS tries to emerge from years of financial trouble.

I’m late to this, but here’s Ambika Kamath on her experiences as a graduate student in Jonathan Losos’ lab. Resists brief summary; go read it.

Stephen Heard on what students taking online courses should be willing and able to do, vs. what they are willing and able to do.

There are no good individual choices when it comes to dealing with Covid-19. This really resonated with me, even though here in Canada we have better choices available to us than people in many places in the US, at least at the moment.

The 300 year history of anti-vax sentiment.

I’ll just leave this here.

From Brian:

Very sad to hear of the passing of Georgina Mace last week (quite an outpouring of personal remembrances in the afore-linked thread). She was in my mind the very epitome of how to be a scientist impacting policy. She was always a scientist first, applying rigor and skepticism to everything she did and never succumbed to the temptation to exaggerate and push fear buttons of doom and gloom (quite the opposite, she regular emphasized the importance of hope). Yet she moved from key role to key role having a large impact including President of BES, President of the Society for Conservation Biology, Director of Science and the Zoological Society of London and highly influential science advisory roles for the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, the IPBES, the IUCN and most recently the WWF. She won a boatload of honors. Her science-policy impact included a major role in setting the IUCN red list of endangered species on firm quantitative grounds. And her most recent paper was a typical mix of realism, hope, and offering solutions on “bending the curve“. This paper was also typical of her collaborative approach in that she was a middle author out of dozens, yet she had previously provided intellectual leadership on where the field needed to go to communicate successfully and then worked with a lot of people to realize it. I only ever interacted with her twice but that was enough to make it obvious that she was the opposite of the stereotypical famous scientist – she was gracious and compassionate and made time for earlier career scientists. Her passing is a great loss for conservation biology and policy.

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