Values, advocacy and ethics
Values, systems, and place. Do Environment and biodiversity shape values?
Do we manage based on past or present conditions? Maintain or restore ecosystems? Or just monitor instead?Discussion:
What came first: the value system or the place?
Let’s remember that values can be constructive or destructive
Ways to value: aesthetics, function, history, culture, environment, economic
Invasive species and their value: beauty? Could a lily ever be considered ugly?
What is our goal for restoration? How far do we go back in time to determine a baseline (this is often determined by data availability in practice)? What changes since then have been natural or anthropogenic?
This brings up the importance of LTER sites
Why do we value biodiversity? Many natural systems have low biodiversity – deserts, Alaskan tundra
Resilience and biodiversity
How do values fit into an adaptive framework?
Value making as an active process – value shaping
What might be the unforeseen implications of actively changing values
Values as a legacy (sometimes forgotten) from local knowledge
To what degree are values motivated by self interest and fitness? Values as self preservation versus intrinsic value
What are the implications of valuing something to the point where we can’t even study it? (lake under the ice that scientists have not even accessed, animal testing)
What about just monitoring? Is this the highest form of objectivity? Scientists are not objective but their work is supposed to be.
What about the difference between the perspective of the anthropologist where “going native” seen as a bad thing, but environmental scientists are generally expected to be advocates for the environment
Do scientists have an obligation to bring their results to the public?
Activism – and how it fits into the scientist’s obligations.
How do we bring the concept of uncertainty to the public? Decision making and uncertainty
Scientists have a monopoly on truth but must strive to be honest
Corporate driven science and its implications
More funding for science
Are the companies trying to legitimatize what they want
What strings are attached?
What results are “acceptable?”Conclusion:
We brought up a lot of question but answered very few. This was a great brainstorming session, but perhaps many of these questions are unanswerable outside of conditional circumstances.