Beyond advocacy: making space for conservation scientists in public debate

Garrard, G, Fidler, F, Wintle, B, Chee, Y and Bekessy, S 2016, 'Beyond advocacy: making space for conservation scientists in public debate', Conservation Letters, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 208-212.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Beyond advocacy: making space for conservation scientists in public debate
Author(s) Garrard, G
Fidler, F
Wintle, B
Chee, Y
Bekessy, S
Year 2016
Journal name Conservation Letters
Volume number 9
Issue number 3
Start page 208
End page 212
Total pages 5
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Abstract The topic of advocacy by scientists has been debated for decades, yet there is little agreement about whether scientists can or should be advocates. The fear of crossing a line into advocacy continues to hold many scientists back from contributing to public discourse, impoverishing public debate about important issues. We believe that progress in this debate is limited by a misconception about the relationship between scientific integrity and objectivity. We begin by unpacking this relationship and debunking three common misconceptions about advocacy by scientists: namely, that advocacy is harmful to scientific credibility, beyond the scope of science, and incompatible with science, which is value-free. We propose new ways of thinking about responsible advocacy by conservation scientists, drawing on practices from the health sciences, where researchers and professional bodies are empowered to act as health advocates.In so doing, we hope to open further space for conservation scientists to actively and legitimately engage in public debate about conservation issues.
Subject Conservation and Biodiversity
History and Philosophy of Science (incl. Non-historical Philosophy of Science)
Keyword(s) Biodiversity
Implementation science
Knowledge brokerage
Scientific communication
DOI - identifier 10.1111/conl.12193
Copyright notice © 2015 The Authors Conservation Letters Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
ISSN 1755-263X
Additional Notes Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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