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It IS possible to present complex science to the public


Maybe I am particularly slow, but I just spent two wonderful, if exhausting, days at the second Muskoka Summit on the Environment, a biennial event here in Muskoka.  The 250+ participants included university professors, graduate and undergraduate students, highschool students, and a broad range of the general public.  The topic was biodiversity loss, the importance of this problem, and what we can do about it.  The seven speakers, including Dr. Tom Lovejoy, in my view one of the deans of biodiversity research, Dr. Justina Ray, Dr. Jeremy Kerr, and Dr. Andrew Gonzales, were all high calibre experts in their respective fields.  They presented technically challenging stuff, but in an accessible way, and the interchanges at the question times showed the participants were fully engaged.  Indeed, Andrew’s talk centered on a paper in Nature that was released from embargo just hours before he spoke.  Paul Kennedy of CBC Radio’s Ideas program was present throughout and chaired the panel discussion this morning.  He will broadcast excerpts from the event on Ideas on Wednesday June 13th at 9pm.

A communique is being finalized, and will be transmitted to relevant federal and provincial members of parliament.  It is time to get our governments to recognize that environmental issues are serious, and growing more so.  This conference helped energize a few more individuals to join that long sorry battle to get through to politicians that our environment actually matters to us.

Read about it on the summit website.


Meanwhile, much has been happening politically in Canada with relevance to environment and I need to put some words into this blog.  I also have some science topics I want to talk about.    And, although its neither Canada nor science, I also want to look into what Rio +20 is accomplishing.  So stay tuned.

1 thought on “It IS possible to present complex science to the public”

  1. that’s funny – I came here this morning wondering what you might think about Rio+20, and there it is, mentioned at least

    something worth reading: ‘A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change’ by Steve Gardiner; from Oxford (the US Oxford?): (though he is not up to your standard of proof reading)

    might be an idea to look at his take on the Stockholm, Bonn, Bali, Copenhagen, Cancun process before saying much about Rio+20

    the preface (a sort of précis with pique) is here:

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