The tension between scientific objectivity and public responsibility (expressed as advocacy) as cornerstones of conservation biology has stirred endless debate among practitioners and observers of our discipline. Emotions run high on this issue, and a wide range of opinions has been expressed in this journal; at the annual meetings of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB); and in countless seminars, chats around the coffee machine, and heated discussions over beer. Few conservation biologists today claim that science in general or our science in particular is value-free, but that is about where the c o m m o n ground ends. Or so it would appear. Perhaps as this healthy discussion continues to develop in open forums, we will fred that we agree on more than we t h o u g h t m o r at least that the values underlying our disparate points of view can be exposed and clarified. Although some SCB members have told me that they do not think discussions on "nonscientific" topics belong in the journal, this seems to be a minority opinion. Both David Ehrenfeld and I, as successive editors, have sought to encourage dialogue on philosophical, social, and practical issues
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1996
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