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Groups are often smarter without ‘opinion leaders’ (Futurity)

Equality may counteract the tendency toward groupthink, research suggests.

The classic “wisdom of crowds” theory goes like this: If we ask a group of people to guess an outcome, the group’s guess will be better than any individual expert. So, when a group tries to make a decision, in this case, predicting the outcome of an election, the group does a better job than experts. For market predictions, geopolitical forecasting, and crowdsourcing product ideas, the wisdom of crowds has been shown to even outperform industry experts.

“On average, opinion leaders were more likely to lead the group astray than to improve it.”

That is true—as long as people don’t talk to each other. When people start sharing their opinions, their conversations can lead to social influences that produce “groupthink” and destroy the wisdom of the crowd. So says the classic theory.

But Damon Centola, an associate professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and School of Engineering and Applied Science and director of the Network Dynamics Group, discovered the opposite.

When people talk to each other, the crowd can get smarter, report Centola, PhD candidate Joshua Becker, and recent PhD graduate Devon Brackbill in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Equal influence

“The classic theory says that if you let people talk to each other groups go astray. But,” says Centola, “we find that even if people are not particularly accurate, when they talk to each other, they help to make each other smarter. Whether things get better or worse depends on the networks.

“In egalitarian networks,” he says, “where everyone has equal influence, we find a strong social-learning effect, which improves the quality of everyone’s judgments. When people exchange ideas, everyone gets smarter. But this can all go haywire if there are opinion leaders in the group.”

An influential opinion leader can hijack the process, leading the entire group astray. While opinion leaders may be knowledgeable on some topics, Centola found that, when the conversation moved away from their expertise, they still remained just as influential. As a result, they ruined the group’s judgment.

“On average,” he says, “opinion leaders were more likely to lead the group astray than to improve it.”

Gut responses

The online study included more than 1,300 participants, who went into one of three experimental conditions. Some were placed into one of the “egalitarian” networks, where everyone had an equal number of contacts and everyone had equal influence. Others were placed into one of the “centralized” networks, in which a single opinion leader was connected to everyone, giving that person much more influence in the group. Each of the networks contained 40 participants. Finally, Centola had several hundred subjects participate in a “control” group, without any social networks.

In the study, all of the participants were given a series of estimation challenges, such as guessing the number of calories in a plate of food. They were given three tries to get the right answer. Everyone first gave a gut response.

Then, participants who were in social networks could see the guesses made by their social contacts and could use that information to revise an answer. They could then see their contacts’ revisions and revise their answers again. But this time it was their final answer. Participants were awarded as much as $10 based on the accuracy of their final guess. In the control group, participants did the same thing, but they were not given any social information between each revision.

“Everyone’s goal was to make a good guess. They weren’t paid for showing up,” Centola says, “only for being accurate.”

Patterns began to emerge. The control groups initially showed the classic wisdom of the crowd but did not improve as people revised their answers. Indeed, if anything, they got slightly worse. By contrast, the egalitarian networks also showed the classic wisdom of the crowd but then saw a dramatic increase in accuracy. Across the board, in network after network, the final answers in these groups were consistently far more accurate than the initial “wisdom of the crowd.”

“In a situation where everyone is equally influential,” Centola says, “people can help to correct each other’s mistakes. This makes each person a little more accurate than they were initially. Overall, this creates a striking improvement in the intelligence of the group. The result is even better than the traditional wisdom of the crowd! But, as soon as you have opinion leaders, social influence becomes really dangerous.”

In the centralized networks, Centola found that, when the opinion leaders were very accurate, they could improve the performance of the group. But even the most accurate opinion leaders were consistently wrong some of the time.

“Thus,” Centola says, “while opinion leaders can sometimes improve things, they were statistically more likely to make the group worse off than to help it.

“The egalitarian network was reliable because the people who were more accurate tended to make smaller revisions, while people who were less accurate revised their answers more. The result is that the entire crowd moved toward the more accurate people, while, at the same time, the more accurate people also made small adjustments that improved their score.”

Engineers and doctors

These findings on the wisdom of crowds have startling real-world implications in areas such as climate-change science, financial forecasting, medical decision-making, and organizational design.

For example, while engineers have been trying to design ways to keep people from talking to each other when making important decisions in an attempt to avoid groupthink, Centola’s findings suggest that what matters most is the network. A group of equally influential scientists talking to one another will likely lead to smarter judgments than might arise from keeping them independent.

He is currently working on implementing these findings to improve physicians’ decision-making. By designing a social network technology for use in hospital settings, it may be possible to reduce implicit bias in physicians’ clinical judgments and to improve the quality of care that they can offer.

Whether new technologies are needed to improve the way the groups talk to each other, or whether we just need to be cautious about the danger of opinion leaders, Centola says it’s time to rethink the idea of the wisdom of crowds.

“It’s much better to have people talk to each other and argue for their points of view than to have opinion leaders rule the crowd,” he says. “By designing informational systems where everyone’s voices can be heard, we can improve the judgment of the entire group. It’s as important for science as it is for democracy.”

Partial support for the work came from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Source: University of Pennsylvania

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Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students (New York Times)

“It’s his website,” she said.

 Mr. Sutter during his Advanced Placement environmental science class. He was hired from a program that recruits science professionals into teaching. Credit: Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

For his part, Mr. Sutter occasionally fell short of his goal of providing Gwen — the most vocal of a raft of student climate skeptics — with calm, evidence-based responses. “Why would I lie to you?” he demanded one morning. “It’s not like I’m making a lot of money here.”

She was, he knew, a straight-A student. She would have had no trouble comprehending the evidence, embedded in ancient tree rings, ice, leaves and shells, as well as sophisticated computer models, that atmospheric carbon dioxide is the chief culprit when it comes to warming the world. Or the graph he showed of how sharply it has spiked since the Industrial Revolution, when humans began pumping vast quantities of it into the air.

Thinking it a useful soothing device, Mr. Sutter assented to Gwen’s request that she be allowed to sand the bark off the sections of wood he used to illustrate tree rings during class. When she did so with an energy that, classmates said, increased during discussion points with which she disagreed, he let it go.

When she insisted that teachers “are supposed to be open to opinions,” however, Mr. Sutter held his ground.

“It’s not about opinions,” he told her. “It’s about the evidence.”

“It’s like you can’t disagree with a scientist or you’re ‘denying science,”’ she sniffed to her friends.

Gwen, 17, could not put her finger on why she found Mr. Sutter, whose biology class she had enjoyed, suddenly so insufferable. Mr. Sutter, sensing that his facts and figures were not helping, was at a loss. And the day she grew so agitated by a documentary he was showing that she bolted out of the school left them both shaken.

“I have a runner,” Mr. Sutter called down to the office, switching off the video.

He had chosen the video, an episode from an Emmy-winning series that featured a Christian climate activist and high production values, as a counterpoint to another of Gwen’s objections, that a belief in climate change does not jibe with Christianity.

“It was just so biased toward saying climate change is real,” she said later, trying to explain her flight. “And that all these people that I pretty much am like are wrong and stupid.”

Classroom Culture Wars

As more of the nation’s teachers seek to integrate climate science into the curriculum, many of them are reckoning with students for whom suspicion of the subject is deeply rooted.

In rural Wellston, a former coal and manufacturing town seeking its next act, rejecting the key findings of climate science can seem like a matter of loyalty to a way of life already under siege. Originally tied, perhaps, to economic self-interest, climate skepticism has itself become a proxy for conservative ideals of hard work, small government and what people here call “self-sustainability.”

A tractor near Wellston, an area where coal and manufacturing were once the primary employment opportunities. Credit: Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Assiduously promoted by fossil fuel interests, that powerful link to a collective worldview largely explains why just 22 percent of Mr. Trump’s supporters in a 2016 poll said they believed that human activity is warming the planet, compared with half of all registered voters. And the prevailing outlook among his base may in turn have facilitated the president’s move to withdraw from the global agreement to battle rising temperatures.

“What people ‘believe’ about global warming doesn’t reflect what they know,” Dan Kahan, a Yale researcher who studies political polarization, has stressed in talks, papers and blog posts. “It expresses who they are.”

But public-school science classrooms are also proving to be a rare place where views on climate change may shift, research has found. There, in contrast with much of adult life, it can be hard to entirely tune out new information.

“Adolescents are still heavily influenced by their parents, but they’re also figuring themselves out,” said Kathryn Stevenson, a researcher at North Carolina State University who studies climate literacy.

Gwen’s father died when she was young, and her mother and uncle, both Trump supporters, doubt climate change as much as she does.

“If she was in math class and teacher told her two plus two equals four and she argued with him about that, I would say she’s wrong,” said her uncle, Mark Beatty. “But no one knows if she’s wrong.”

As Gwen clashed with her teacher over the notion of human-caused climate change, one of her best friends, Jacynda Patton, was still circling the taboo subject. “I learned some stuff, that’s all,’’ Jacynda told Gwen, on whom she often relied to supply the $2.40 for school lunch that she could not otherwise afford.

Jacynda Patton, right, during Mr. Sutter’s class. “I thought it would be an easy A,” she said. “It wasn’t.”Credit: Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Hired a year earlier, Mr. Sutter was the first science teacher at Wellston to emphasize climate science. He happened to do so at a time when the mounting evidence of the toll that global warming is likely to take, and the Trump administration’s considerable efforts to discredit those findings, are drawing new attention to the classroom from both sides of the nation’s culture war.

Since March, the Heartland Institute, a think tank that rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, has sent tens of thousands of science teachers a book of misinformation titled “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming,” in an effort to influence “the next generation of thought,” said Joseph Bast, the group’s chief executive.

The Alliance for Climate Education, which runs assemblies based on the consensus science for high schools across the country, received new funding from a donor who sees teenagers as the best means of reaching and influencing their parents.

Idaho, however, this year joined several other states that have declined to adopt new science standards that emphasize the role human activities play in climate change.

At Wellston, where most students live below the poverty line and the needle-strewn bike path that abuts the marching band’s practice field is known as “heroin highway,” climate change is not regarded as the most pressing issue. And since most Wellston graduates typically do not go on to obtain a four-year college degree, this may be the only chance many of them have to study the impact of global warming.

But Mr. Sutter’s classroom shows how curriculum can sometimes influence culture on a subject that stands to have a more profound impact on today’s high schoolers than their parents.

“I thought it would be an easy A,” said Jacynda, 16, an outspoken Trump supporter. “It wasn’t.”

God’s Gift to Wellston?

Mr. Sutter, who grew up three hours north of Wellston in the largely Democratic city of Akron, applied for the job at Wellston High straight from a program to recruit science professionals into teaching, a kind of science-focused Teach for America.

He already had a graduate-level certificate in environmental science from the University of Akron and a private sector job assessing environmental risk for corporations. But a series of personal crises that included his sister’s suicide, he said, had compelled him to look for a way to channel his knowledge to more meaningful use.

The fellowship gave him a degree in science education in exchange for a three-year commitment to teach in a high-needs Ohio school district. Megan Sowers, the principal, had been looking for someone qualified to teach an Advanced Placement course, which could help improve her financially challenged school’s poor performance ranking. She hired him on the spot.

Mr. Sutter walking with his students on a nature trail near the high school, where he pointed out evidence of climate change. Credit: Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times 

But at a school where most teachers were raised in the same southeastern corner of Appalachian Ohio as their students, Mr. Sutter’s credentials themselves could raise hackles.

“He says, ‘I left a higher-paying job to come teach in an area like this,’” Jacynda recalled. “We’re like, ‘What is that supposed to mean?”’

“He acts,” Gwen said with her patented eye roll, “like he’s God’s gift to Wellston.”

In truth, he was largely winging it.

Some 20 states, including a handful of red ones, have recently begun requiring students to learn that human activity is a major cause of climate change, but few, if any, have provided a road map for how to teach it, and most science teachers, according to one recent survey, spend at most two hours on the subject.

Chagrined to learn that none of his students could recall a school visit by a scientist, Mr. Sutter hosted several graduate students from nearby Ohio University.

On a field trip to a biology laboratory there, many of his students took their first ride on an escalator. To illustrate why some scientists in the 1970s believed the world was cooling rather than warming (“So why should we believe them now?” students sometimes asked), he brought in a 1968 push-button phone and a 1980s Nintendo game cartridge.

“Our data and our ability to process it is just so much better now,” he said.

In the A.P. class, Mr. Sutter took an informal poll midway through: In all, 14 of 17 students said their parents thought he was, at best, wasting their time. “My stepdad says they’re brainwashing me,” one said.

Jacynda’s father, for one, did not raise an eyebrow when his daughter stopped attending Mr. Sutter’s class for a period in the early winter. A former coal miner who had endured two years of unemployment before taking a construction job, he declined a request to talk about it.

“I think it’s that it’s taken a lot from him,” Jacynda said. “He sees it as the environmental people have taken his job.”

And having listened to Mr. Sutter reiterate the overwhelming agreement among scientists regarding humanity’s role in global warming in answer to another classmate’s questions — “What if we’re not the cause of it? What if this is something that’s natural?” — Jacynda texted the classmate one night using an expletive to refer to Mr. Sutter’s teaching approach.

But even the staunchest climate-change skeptics could not ignore the dearth of snow days last winter, the cap to a year that turned out to be the warmest Earth has experienced since 1880, according to NASA. The high mark eclipsed the record set just the year before, which had eclipsed the year before that.

In woods behind the school, where Mr. Sutter had his students scout out a nature trail, he showed them the preponderance of emerald ash borers, an invasive insect that, because of the warm weather, had not experienced the usual die-off that winter. There was flooding, too: Once, more than 5.5 inches of rain fell in 48 hours.

The field trip to a local stream where the water runs neon orange also made an impression. Mr. Sutter had the class collect water samples: The pH levels were as acidic as “the white vinegar you buy at a grocery store,” he told them. And the drainage, they could see, was from the mine.

It was the realization that she had failed to grasp the damage done to her immediate environment, Jacynda said, that made her begin to pay more attention. She did some reading. She also began thinking that she might enjoy a job working for the Environmental Protection Agency — until she learned that, under Mr. Trump, the agency would undergo huge layoffs.

“O.K., I’m not going to lie. I did a 180,” she said that afternoon in the library with Gwen, casting a guilty look at her friend. “This is happening, and we have to fix it.”

After fleeing Mr. Sutter’s classroom that day, Gwen never returned, a pragmatic decision about which he has regrets. “That’s one student I feel I failed a little bit,” he said.

As an alternative, Gwen took an online class for environmental science credit, which she does not recall ever mentioning climate change. She and Jacynda had other things to talk about, like planning a bonfire after prom.

As they tried on dresses last month, Jacynda mentioned that others in their circle, including the boys they had invited to prom, believed the world was dangerously warming, and that humans were to blame. By the last days of school, most of Mr. Sutter’s doubters, in fact, had come to that conclusion.

“I know,” Gwen said, pausing for a moment. “Now help me zip this up.”

Indigenous Science: March for Science Letter of Support

To the March for Science, DC and satellite marches across the nation and the world:

As Indigenous scientists, agency professionals, tribal professionals, educators, traditional practitioners, family, youth, elders and allies from Indigenous communities and homelands all over the living Earth we

Endorse and Support the March for Science.

As original peoples, we have long memories, centuries old wisdom and deep knowledge of this land and the importance of empirical, scientific inquiry as fundamental to the well-being of people and planet.

Let us remember that long before Western science came to these shores, there were Indigenous scientists here. Native astronomers, agronomists, geneticists, ecologists, engineers, botanists, zoologists, watershed hydrologists, pharmacologists, physicians and more—all engaged in the creation and application of knowledge which promoted the flourishing of both human societies and the beings with whom we share the planet. We give gratitude for all their contributions to knowledge. Native science supported indigenous culture, governance and decision making for a sustainable future –the same needs which bring us together today.

As we endorse and support the March for Science, let us acknowledge that there are multiple ways of knowing that play an essential role in advancing knowledge for the health of all life. Science, as concept and process, is translatable into over 500 different Indigenous languages in the U.S. and thousands world-wide. Western science is a powerful approach, but it is not the only one.

Indigenous science provides a wealth of knowledge and a powerful alternative paradigm by which we understand the natural world and our relation to it. Embedded in cultural frameworks of respect, reciprocity, responsibility and reverence for the earth, Indigenous science lies within a worldview where knowledge is coupled to responsibility and human activity is aligned with ecological principles and natural law, rather than against them. We need both ways of knowing if we are to advance knowledge and sustainability.

Let us March not just for Science-but for Sciences!

We acknowledge and honor our ancestors and draw attention to the ways in which Indigenous communities have been negatively impacted by the misguided use of Western scientific research and institutional power. Our communities have been used as research subjects, experienced environmental racism, extractive industries that harm our homelands and have witnessed Indigenous science and the rights of Indigenous peoples dismissed by institutions of Western science.

While Indigenous science is an ancient and dynamic body of knowledge, embedded in sophisticated cultural epistemologies, it has long been marginalized by the institutions of contemporary Western science. However, traditional knowledge is increasingly recognized as a source of concepts, models, philosophies and practices which can inform the design of new sustainability solutions. It is both ancient and urgent.

Indigenous science offers both key insights and philosophical frameworks for problem solving that includes human values, which are much needed as we face challenges such as climate change, sustainable resource management, health disparities and the need for healing the ecological damage we have done.

Indigenous science informs place-specific resource management and land-care practices important for environmental health of tribal and federal lands. We require greater recognition and support for tribal consultation and participation in the co-management, protection, and restoration of our ancestral lands.

Indigenous communities have partnered with Western science to address environmental justice, health disparities, and intergenerational trauma in our communities. We have championed innovation and technology in science from agriculture to medicine. New ecological insights have been generated through sharing of Indigenous science. Indigenous communities and Western science continue to promote diversity within STEM fields. Each year Indigenous people graduate with Ph.D.’s, M.D.’s, M.S.’s and related degrees that benefit our collective societies. We also recognize and promote the advancement of culture-bearers, Elders, hunters and gatherers who strengthen our communities through traditional practices.

Our tribal communities need more culturally embedded scientists and at the same time, institutions of Western science need more Indigenous perspectives. The next generation of scientists needs to be well- positioned for growing collaboration with Indigenous science. Thus we call for enhanced support for inclusion of Indigenous science in mainstream education, for the benefit of all. We envision a productive symbiosis between Indigenous and Western knowledges that serve our shared goals of sustainability for land and culture. This symbiosis requires mutual respect for the intellectual sovereignty of both Indigenous and Western sciences.

As members of the Indigenous science community, we endorse and support the March for Science – and we encourage Indigenous people and allies to participate in the national march in DC or a satellite march. Let us engage the power of both Indigenous and Western science on behalf of the living Earth.

Let our Indigenous voices be heard.

In solidarity,

ADD YOUR NAME BELOW, AND SCROLL DOWN FOR FULL LIST OF SIGNATORIES

If you are an ally, please write “ally” under tribal affiliation.

SIGNATORIES

1. Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology, Director Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY

2. Dr. Rosalyn LaPier (Blackfeet/Metis), Research Associate, Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, and Native American Religion. Harvard Divinity School

3. Dr. Melissa K. Nelson (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Associate Professor of American Indian Studies, San Francisco State University, President of the Cultural Conservancy, San Francisco, CA

4. Dr. Kyle P. Whyte (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Timnick Chair in the Humanities, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

5. Neil Patterson, Jr. (Tuscarora) Assistant Director, Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY and EPA Tribal Science Council.

6. Dr. Patty Loew, Professor, Department of Life Sciences Communication. University of Wisconsin-Madison

7. Patricia Cochran (Inupiat), Executive Director, Alaska Native Science Commission, Anchorage, AK

8. Dr. Gregory A. Cajete (Tewa-Santa Clara Pueblo), Director of Native American Studies-University College, Professor of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies-College of Education, University of New Mexico

9. Dr. Deborah McGregor (Anishinaabe), Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Environmental Justice, Osgoode Hall Law School and Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

10. Leroy Little Bear (Blackfoot), Professor Emeritus, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

11. Dr. Karletta Chief (Navajo), Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science. University of Arizona

12. Leslie Harper (Leech Lake Ojibwe), President, National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs

13. Namaka Rawlins (Hawaiian), Aha Punana Leo, Hilo, Hawaii

14. Abaki Beck (Blackfeet/Metis), Founder, POC Online Classroom and Co-Editor of Daughters of Violence Zine

15. Ciarra Greene (Nimiipuu/Nez Perce), NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Portland State University

16. Dr. Scott Herron (Miami/Anishinaabe), Professor of Biology, Ferris State University and Society of Ethnobiology President

17. Chris Caldwell (Menominee Nation), Director of Sustainable Development Institute at College of Menominee Nation

18. Jerry Jondreau (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community/Ojibwe), Director of Recruiting, Michigan Technological University – School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

19. Dr. Shelly Valdez (Pueblo of Laguna), Native Pathways, Laguna, NM

20. Melonee Montano (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Traditional Ecological Knowledge Outreach Specialist, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

21. Nicholas J. Reo (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Assistant Professor of Native American and Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College

22. Dr. Daniela Shebitz (Ally), Associate Professor/Coordinator of Environmental Biology and Sustainability, Kean University

23. Denise Waterman (Haudenosaunee: Oneida Nation), Educator, Onondaga Nation School

24. J. Baird Callicott (Ally), University Distinguished Research Professor, UNT

25. Dr. Nancy C. Maryboy (Cherokee/Dine), Indigenous Education Institute; and University of Washington, Department of Environmental and Forestry Sciences

26. Dr. Jeannette Armstrong (Syilx Okanagan), Canada Research Chair, Okanagan Knowledge and Philosophy, University of British Columbia, Okanagan

27. Barbara Moktthewenkwe Wall (Bodwewaadmii Anishinaabe), Knowledge Holder, Graduate Student, Keene, ON

28. Michael Dockry (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), PhD, St. Paul, MN

29. Joan McGregor (Ally), Professor of Philosophy and Senior Sustainability Scholar Global Institute for Sustainability, Arizona State University

30. Mary Evelyn Tucker (Ally), Yale University

31. Dr. Vicki Watson (Ally), Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Montana

32. Dr. Adrian Leighton (Ally), Natural Resources Director, Salish Kootenai College

33. Dr. Michael Paul Nelson (Ally), Ruth H. Spaniol Chair of Renewable Resources and Professor of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, Oregon State University

34. Philip P. Arnold (Ally), Associate Professor, Chair, Department of Religion, Syracuse University. Director Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center

35. Dr. Mark Bellcourt (White Earth Nation), Academic Professional – University of Minnesota

36. F. Henry Lickers (Haudenosaunee), Scientific Co- Chair HETF

37. Jane Mt.Pleasant (Tuscarora), Associate Professor, School of Integrative Science, Cornell University

38. Dr. Lisa M. Poupart (Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe,) Associate Professor/Director of First Nations Education, University of Wisconsin Green Bay

39. Beynan T Ransom (St Regis Mohawk Tribe), Program Coordinator, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program

40. Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong (Ally), Director, UW-Madison Earth Partnership, Indigenous Arts and Sciences

41. Aaron Bird Bear (Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation) Assistant Dean, School of Education, UW-Madison

42. Scott Manning Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), Director, Native American Studies, Syracuse University

43. Preston Hardison (Ally), Policy Analyst, Tulalip Natural Resources

44. Dr. Jonathan Gilbert, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Director, Biological Services Division, GLIFWC

45. Ilarion Merculieff (Unangan – Aleut), President, Global Center for Indigenous Leadership and Lifeways

46. Denise Pollock (Inupiaq – Native Village of Shishmaref), Alaska Institute for Justice

47. David Beck (Ally), Professor, Native American Studies, University of Montana

48. Dr. Pierre Bélanger (Ally), Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

49. Dan Sarna, Karuk Tribe Dept. of Natural Resources collaborator, UC Berkeley post-doctoral research fellow

50. Simon J. Ortiz (Acoma), Regents Professor of English and American Indian Studies

51. Bron Taylor (Ally), University of Florida

52. Dr. Ronald L. Trosper (Salish/Kootenai), Professor of American Indian Studies, University of Arizona

53. Tammy Bluewolf-Kennedy (Oneida Nation of New York), Undergraduate Admissions Counselor, Native American Liaison, Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, Syracuse University

54. Dr. Isabel Hawkins (Ally), Astronomer and Project Director, Exploratorium

55. Claire Hope Cummings (Ally), Lawyer, journalist, legal advisor to Winnemem Wintu Tribe

56. Linda Hogan (Chickasaw), University of Colorado, Professor Emerita

57. Laird Jones (Tlingit & Haida Central Council), Fisheries

58. Stewart Diemont (Ally), Associate Professor / SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

59. Kacey Chopito (Zuni Pueblo), Student, Syracuse University

60. Jason Delborne (Ally), Associate Professor, NC State University

61. Cassandra L Beaulieu (Mohawk), Laboratory Technician, Upstate Freshwater Institute

62. Nancy Riopel Smith (Ally), East Aurora, NY

63. Dr. Mary Finley-Brook (Ally), Associate Professor of Geography, University of Richmond

64. Michael Galban (Washoe/Mono Lake Paiute), Curator/Historian, Seneca Art & Culture Center

65. Cara Ewell Hodkin (Seneca), SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

66. RDK Herman (Ally), Baltimore, MD

67. Emily H (Ally), Delaware, OH

68. Dr. Dan Roronhiakewen Longboat (Haudenosaunee – Mohawk Nation), Associate Professor and Director of the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Science Program, Trent University

69. Dan Spencer (Ally), University of Montana

70. Katherina Searing (Ally), Associate Director, Professional Education / SUNY ESF

71. Dr. Robin Saha (Ally), Associate Professor, Environmental Studies Program, University of Montana

72. Andrea D Wieland (Ally), Career Counselor, FRCC

73. Dr. Colin Beier (Ally), Associate Professor of Ecology, Syracuse, NY

74. Dr. Michael J Dockry (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), St. Paul, MN

75. Matthew J Ballard (Shinnecock), Southampton, NY

76. Anthony Corbine (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa), Grants Coordinator, Natural Resources Dept.

77. Laura Zanotti (Ally), Associate Professor, Purdue University

78. Len Broberg (Ally), Professor/ Environmental Studies, University of Montana

79. Danielle Antelope (Eastern Shoshone / Blackfeet), Blackfeet Community College

80. Tomasz Falkowski (Ally), State Univeristy of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

81. Dr. Elizabeth Folta (Ally), Assistant Professor, Environmental Education & Interpretation Program Coordinator, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

82. Dr. Alexis Bunten (Aleut/Yup’ik), Indigeneity Program Manager/Bioneers

83. Susan Elliott (Ally), University of Montata

84. Cat Techtmann (Ally), Environmental Outreach Specialist

85. Marie Schaefer (Anishinaabe), Phd Student, Community Sustainability, Michigan State University

86. Dr. Ross Hoffman (Ally), Associate Professor, University of Northern British Columbia

87. Mary Elizabeth Braun (Ally), Acquisitions Editor, Oregon State University Press

88. Dr. Melanie Lenart (Ally), Faculty member, Science and Agriculture, Tohono O’odham Community College

89. Dr. Mehana Blaich Vaughan (Native Hawaiian, Haleleʻa, Kauaʻi), Assistant Professor, University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa

90. Alyssa Mt. Pleasant (Tuscarora), Assistant Professor of Native American & Indigenous Studies, University at Buffalo

91. Dianne E. Rocheleau (Ally), Professor of Geography/Clark University

92. Jorge García Polo (Ally), SUNY – ESF

93. Jessica Lackey (Cherokee Nation), PhD Student- Natural Resource Sciences and Management, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

94. Katie Hinkfuss (Ally)

95. Dr. Jessica Dolan (Ally), Researcher/Adjunct Lecturer, McGill University, University of Pennsylvania; Conference co-ordinator, Society of Ethnobiology

96. Gregory J. Gauthier Jr. (Menominee), Sustainable Development Insitute

97. Lynda Schneekloth (Ally), University at Buffalo / SUNY

98. Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen (Mohawk), Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Northeastern University

99. Ali Oppelt (Ally), Engineer

100. Dr. Toben Lafrancois (Ally), Research Scientist, Northland College and Pack Leader of Zaaga’igan ma’iinganag

101. Jessie Smith (Ally), State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

102. Curtis Waterman (Onondaga Nation), Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force

103. Luis Malaret (Ally), Professor of Biology Emeratus/Community College of Rhode Island

104. Dan Meissner (Ally), D’Youville College

105. Ilana Weinstein (Ally), SUNY ESF

106. Dr Rebecca Kiddle (Ngati Porou, Nga Puhi), Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington

107. Wallace J. Nichols (Ally), Senior Fellow, Center for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

108. Catherine M. Johnson (Ally), Graduate Research Assistant, PNW-COSMOS Montana State University

109. Ranalda Tsosie (Diné), Ph.D Student/University of Montana

110. Gyda Swaney (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation), Associate Professor/Department of Psychology/University of Montana

111. Tara Dowd (Inupiaq, Village of Kiana), Consultant, Red Fox Consulting

112. Michael P. Capozzoli (Ally), University of Montana

113. Siddharth Bharath Iyengar (Ally), Graduate Student, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

114. Jen Harrington (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Graduate Candidate Resource Conservation/ University of Montana

115. Judy BlueHorse Skelton (Nez Perce/Cherokee), Faculty, Portland State University Indigenous Nations Studies

116. Dr. Charles Hall (Ally), Professor Emeritus SUNY ESF

117. Michael Hathaway (Ally), Associate Professor, Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

118. Rosemary Ahtuangaruak (Native Village of Barrow)

119. Charles FW Wheelock (Oneida Nation), National New World Resource Futures

120. Hayley Marama Cavino (Ngati Whiti/Ngati Pukenga– New Zealand), Adjunct, Native American Studies, Syracuse University

121. Warren Matte (Gros Ventre – White Clay Nation), Harvard University Alumni

122. Richard Erickson (Ally), Science Teacher/Bayfield High School

123. Chandra Talpade Mohanty (Ally), Syracuse University

124. Lauren Tarr (Ally)

125. Elizabeth J. Pyatt (Ally), Lecturer in Linguistics, Penn State

126. Grisel Robles-Schrader (Ally)

127. Suzanne Flannery Quinn (Ally) Senior Lecturer, Froebel College, University of Roehampton

128. Natalie Rodrigues (Ally), Student

129. Betsy Theobald Richards (Cherokee Nation), The Opportunity Agenda

130. Beka Economopoulos (Ally), Executive Director, The Natural History Museum

131. Melvina McCabe, MD (Dine’ ), Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Native Health Policy and Service/University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

132. Nancy Schuldt (Ally, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Water Program Coordinator

133. Crystal Lepscier (Menominee/Stockbridge-Munsee/Little Shell Ojibwe), 4H Youth Development Agent/Shawano County/UW Extension

134. Dr. Brigitte Evering (Ally) Research Associate, Indigenous Environmental Sciences/Studies, Trent University

135. Devon Brock-Montgomery (Ally), Climate Change Coordinator- Bad River Natural Resources Department

136. Bazile Panek (Anishinaabe), Photographer of Zaaga’igan Ma’iinganag and Youth Leader

137. Nikki Marie Crowe (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Tribal College Extension Coordinator

138. Lemyra DeBruyn (Ally)

139. Abbey Feola (Ally)

140. Kate Flick (Ally), sciences educator

141. Laura Zanolli (Chickasaw), MSc/University of Montana

142. Kristiana Ferguson (Tuscarora), Sanborn, NY

143. Priscilla Belisle (Oneida Nation), Grant Development Specialist, Oneida Nation

144. Catherine Landis (Ally), Doctoral Candidate, SUNY ESF

145. Dr. Hedi Baxter Lauffer (Ally), Science Educator and Researcher

146. Brady Mabe (Ally), University of Virginia

147. Robin T Clark (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa), Sault Ste. Marie, MI

148. Miles Falck (Oneida Nation), Wildlife Section Leader, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

149. Erica Roberts (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina), PhD in Behavioral and Community Health, University of Maryland

150. Katelyn Kaim (Ally), State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

151. Patricia Moran (Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians), Conservation Coordinator

152. Tracy Williams (Oneida Nation Wisconsin), WolfClanFaithkeeper/DirectorOneidaLanguageDept

153. Jennie R. Joe, Professor Emerita, Dept of Family & Community Medicine,

154. Tana Atchley (Klamath Tribes – Modoc/Paiute), Tribal Workforce Development & Outreach Coordinator, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

155. Himika Bhattacharya (Ally), Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Syracuse University

156. Sonni Tadlock (Okanogan, Colville), BS Native Environmental Science, Northwest Indian College

157. David Voelker (Ally), Associate Professor of Humanities & History

158. Margaret Wooster (Ally), Watershed Planner and Writer

159. David O. Born, Ph.D. (Ally)

160. Jason Packineau (Mandan, Hidatsa Arikara, Pueblo of Jemez, Pueblo of Laguna), Harvard University

161. Janene Yazzie (Navajo Nation), Research Associate

162. Dr. Brian D. Compton (Ally), Native Environmental Science Faculty, Northwest Indian College

163. Giselle Schreiber (Ally), Undergraduate, SUNY-ESF

164. Dr. Antonia O. Franco (Ally), SACNAS Executive Director

165. Daniela Bernal (Ally), Communications & Marketing Coordinator, SACNAS

166. Haskey Fleming (Navajo Nation), Student at SUNY ESF

167. Annjeanette Belcourt (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nations) Associate Professor

168. Nicole MartinRogers (White Earth Nation), PhD in sociology

169. LeManuel Lee Bitsoi (Navajo Nation), Assistant Professor, Rush University Medical Center

170. Yoshira Ornelas Van Horne (Ally), Doctoral Student, University of Arizona Environmental Health Sciences

171. Penney Wiley (Ally), Masters of Science, Health & Human Development, MSU, Bozeman, MT

172. Kathryn Harris Tijerina (Comanche), President Emeritus, IAIA (ret.)

173. Rita Harris (Cherokee Long Hair Tribe), Ritas Remembrances, Owner.

174. Lawrence Ahenakew (Chippewa/Cree), Deputy Director, HR Payroll Help Desk

175. Dr. Mary Hermes (Mixed Indigenous Heritage), Associate Professor Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

176. Emily A. Haozous, PhD, RN, FAAN (Chiricahua Fort Sill Apache), Associate Professor, PhD Program Director, and Regent’s Professor, University of New Mexico College of Nursing

177. Chiara Cabiglio (Ally), SACNAS Social Media & Communications Coordinator / Aspiring Personal Vegan Chef

178. Liz Cochran (Ally), Retired Elementary Educator

179. Miriam Olivera (Mixteco)

180. Janine DeBaise (Ally), Faculty, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

181. Taylor Saver (Anishinaabe)

182. Roxana Coreas (Ally), Doctoral Student, University of California, Riverside

183. Guthrie Capossela (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), MA, Nonprofit Management, Native American Liaison Rochester Public Schools

184. Rachelle Begay (Diné ), Program Coordinator, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona

185. Tom Ozden-Schilling (Ally), Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University Canada Program

186. Wesley Leonard (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma), Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside

187. Tom BK Goldtooth (Ally), Indigenous Environmental Network, Executive Director

188. Scott Hauser (Upper Snake River Tribes), Foundation Executive Director

189. Suzanne Neefus (Ally), Michigan State University

190. Shay Welch (Cherokee, undocumented), Professor of Philosophy

191. Heidi McCann (Yavapai-Apache Nation), CIRES/NSIDC

192. Todd Ziegler (Ally), Research Area Specialist; University of Michigan School of Public Health

193. Lauren Cooper (Ally), Academic Specialist, Forestry Department, Michigan State University

194. Zachary Piso (Ally), Michigan State University

195. Alisa Bokulich (Ally), Professor, Boston University

196. Randy Peppler (Ally), University of Oklahoma

197. Rosalee Gonzalez, PhD, MSW (Xicana-Kickapoo), Arizona State University(Faculty)/Native American in Philanthropy (Research Consultant)

198. Michael Burroughs (Ally), Penn State

199. Ayrel Clark-Proffitt (Ally), Sustainability professional

200. Paul B. Thompson (Ally), W.K. Kellogg Professor of Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics, Michigan State University

201. LaRae Wiley (Colville Confederated Tribes), Salish School of Spokane

202. Mike Jetty (Spirit Lake Dakota), Indian Education Specialist, MT Office of Public Instruction

203. Colin Farish (Ojibwe by adoption and marriage), Musician

204. Ayanna Spencer (Ally), Michigan State University

205. Eleanor (Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian), Anthropologist

206. Stephanie Julian (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians) Indigenous Arts & Science Coordinator

207. Kirsten Vinyeta (Ally), University of Oregon

208. Laura (Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria)

209. Evan Berry (Ally), American University

210. Sachem HawkStorm (Schaghticoke), Chief

211. Dr. Robin M. Wright, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program AmDepartment of Religion, University of Florida

212. Dr. Bethany Nowviskie (Ally) Director, Digital Library Federation at CLIR and Research Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, University of Virginia

213. Arwen Bird (Ally), Woven Strategies, LLC

214. Robbie Paul, PhD (NezPerce), Retired, WSU

215. Elizabeth LaPensee (Anishinaabe and Metis), Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University

216. Gerald Urquhart (Ally), Michigan State University

217. Dr. Brianna Burke (Ally), Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Iowa State University

218. David C Sands (Ally), Professor of Plant Pathology, Montana State University

219. Alex Lenferna (Ally), Fulbright Scholar, Philosophy Department, University of Washington

220. Robin M. Wright (Ally), American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, University of Florida

221. Twa-le Abrahamson-Swan (Spokane), BS Environmental Science/Restoration Ecology, University of WA

222. Doug Eddy (Ally), PhD Student, Program in Ecology, University of Wyoming

223. Dr. Anthony Lioi (Ally), Associate Professor of Liberal Arts and English, The Juilliard School

224. Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes), Center for World Indigenous Studies

225. Johnny Buck (Wanapum/Yakama Nation), Student, Northwest Indian College

226. Henry Quintero (Apache), ASU

227. Dr. Nancy McHugh (Ally), Wittenberg University

228. . Neil Henderson (Oklahoma Choctaw), Univ. Minnesota Medical School

229. Sammy Matsaw (Shoshone-Bannock/Oglala Lakota), IGERT PhD student, ISTEM Scholar

230. Allegra de Laurentiis (Ally), Professor at SUNY-Stony Brook

231. Laura Schmitt Olabisi (Ally), Michigan State University Department of Community Sustainability

232. Andrew Jolivette (Atakapa-Ishak/Opelousa), Professor SF State American Indian Studies

233. Dr. Heidi Grasswick (Ally), Professor of Philosophy, Middlebury College

234. Emily Simmonds (Metis), Department of Science and Technology Studies

235. Stephen Hamilton (Ally), Professor, Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University

236. Michelle Murphy (Metis) Director Technoscience Research Unit, Professor WGSI, Steering Committee Environmental Data and Governance Initiative

237. Paloma Beamer (Ally), University of Arizona

238. Jaime Yazzie (Diné), Master of Science of Forestry Candidate, Northern Arizona University

239. Ramon Montano Marquez (Kickapoo, Kumeyaay, Pa’Ipai), Restorative Justice Implementation Strategist

240. Rose O’Leary (Osage, Tsa-la-gi, Quapaw, Mi’kmaq), Graduate Student University of Washington, Dartmouth College

241. Bill Brown (Anishinaabe), White Earth Resevation Aiiy

242. Dr. Amy Reed-Sandoval (Ally) Assistant Professor of Philosophy, The University of Texas at El Paso

243. Paul Willias (Ally), Squamish Tribe Fisheries

244. Audrey N. Maretzki (Ally), ICIK at Penn State Univ.

245. Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough (Native Village of Unalakleet), University of Alaska Anchorage

246. Michael Kaplowitz (Ally), Michigan State University

247. Fawn YoungBear-Tibbetts (White Earth Band Of MN Chippewa), Indigenous Arts and Sciences Founder, University of Wisconsin Earth Partnership program

248. Melinda Levin (Ally), University of North Texas

249. Dr. Kari Mari Norgaard (Ally), Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies

250. Olivia Blyth (Ally), Teaching Fellow

251. Bart Johnson (Ally), Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

252. Orville H. Huntington (Huslia Tribe), Ally, Tanana Chiefs Conference Wildlife & Parks Director, EPA Tribal Science Council, Alaska Board of Fisheries, Alaska Native Science Commission

253. Beth Leonard (Shageluk Tribe – Alaska), Department of Alaska Native Studies – University of Alaska Anchorage

254. Lisa Fink( Ally), University of Oregon

255. Carla Dhillon (Ally) P.E. Phd Candidate, U of Michigan

256. Lucas Silva (Ally), University of Oregon

257. Benjamin Kenofer (Ally), Ph.D Student, Michigan State University

258. Lillian Tom-Orme (Dine’ – Navajo), University of Utah

259. Dr. Ryan E. Emanuel (Lumbee), Associate Professor and University Faculty Scholar, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University

260. Sue Cramer (Ally), Former social worker

261. Judith Ramos (Tlingit), Professor

262. Ashley Studholme (Ally), University of Oregon

263. Dr. Jack D. Cichy (Ally), Professor of Management & Sustainability, Davenport University

264. Iria Gimenez (Ally), Oregon State University

265. Kathy Jacobs (Ally), Professor and Director, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, University of Arizona

266. Delight Satter (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde), Health Scientist

267. Salma Monani (Ally), Gettysburg College

268. Jim Igoe (Ally), University of Virginia, Department of Anthropology

269. Rocío Quispe-Agnoli Quechua (Ally), Professor of Colonial Latin American Studies, Michigan State University

270. Jacqueline Cieslak (Ally), PhD Student in Anthropology, University of Virginia

271. Mary Black (Ally), Adaptation Program Manager, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, University of Arizona

272. Kenny Roundy (Ally), PhD Student, History of Science, School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University

273. Bill Tripp (Karuk Tribe) Deputy Director of Eco-cultural Revitalization

274. Michael O’Rourke (Ally), Department of Philosophy and AgBioResearch, Michigan State University

275. Eudora Claw (Navajo/Zuni), University of Nevada Las Vegas

276. Ruth Dan Stebbins, Community Association, Yup’ik Student

277. Kathryn Goodwin (Blackfeet), Los Angeles, CA

278. Dr. May-Britt Öhman (Lule Forest Sámi – FennoScandia), Researcher, Uppsala University, Sweden

279. Sierra Deutsch (Ally), PhD Candidate, Environmental, Sciences, Studies, and Policy. University of Oregon

280. Leilani Sabzalian (Alutiiq), Postdoctoral Scholar of Indigenous Studies in Education, University of Oregon

281. Elizabeth Ann R. Bird (Ally) – Spec. Fort Peck Tribes Montana State University Project Development Specialist

282. Jason Schreiner (Ally), Instructor, Environmental Studies Program, University of Oregon

283. Dr. Chris Clements (Ally), Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

284. Edith Leoso (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa), Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

285. Jandi Craig (White Mountain Apache), Apache Behavioral Health Services

286. Coach Glen Bennett (Grand Traverse Bay Ottawa& Chippewa), Archery Coach Program Coordinator Michigan State University

287. Stacey Goguen (Ally), Northeastern Illinois University

288. Jennifer Sowerwine (Ally), Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley

289. Angelica De Jesus (Ally), Graduate Student, Ford School of Public Policy

290. Theresa Duello (Ally), Associate Professor, University of WI Madison

291. Mike Chang (Ally), Makah Tribe

292. Natalie Gray (Ally), City of Seattle

293. Gyda Swaney (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation), Department of Psychology, University of Montana

294. Dr. Theresa May (Ally), University of Oregon

295. Ida Hoequist (Ally), Graduate Student, University of Virginia

296. Stephen P. Gasteyer (Ally), Department of Sociology, Michigan State University

297. Dr. Rachel Fredericks (Ally), Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ball State University

298. Monica List (Ally), Animal Welfare Specialist- Compassion in World Farming

299. Keith R. Peterson (Ally), Associate Professor, Colby College, Department of Philosophy

300. Corey Welch (Northern Cheyenne), SACNAS

301. Kathy Lynn (Ally), University of Oregon

302. Agnes Attakai (Navajo), Director Health Disparities College of Public Health/ Director of AZ INMED Medicine University of Arizona

303. Kirsten Vinyeta (Ally), Doctoral Student in Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon

304. Amanda Boetzkes (Ally), University of Guelph

305. Princess Daazhraii Johnson (Neets’aii Gwich’in), Holistic Approach to Sustainable Northern Communities, Cold Climate Housing Research Center

306. Dr. Sarah Fortner (Ally), Assistant Professor of Geology & Environmental Science, Wittenberg University

307. Colin Weaver (Ally), University of Chicago

308. Kristin Searle (Ally), Utah State University

309. fleur palmer (te Rarawa and Te Aupouri), auckland university of technology

310. Dr. Jeremy Schultz (Ally), Eastern Washington University

311. Rosemary Bierbzum (Ally)

312. Holly Hunts, Ph.D. (Ally), Montana State University

313. Maureen Biermann (Ally), Instructor and PhD Candidate

314. Ben Geboe (Yankton Sioux), Executive Director

315. Vanessa Hiratsuka, PhD MPH (Dine/Winnemem Wintu), Health Services Researcher

316. Beth Rose Middleton (Ally), Assoc. Professor, Native American Studies, UC Davis

317. Brian J. Teppen (Ally), Professor of Soil chemistry, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University

318. Adam Fix (Ally), PhD Candidate, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

319. Sheree Chase M.A. (Ally), Regional Historian

320. Osprey Orielle Lake (Ally), Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, (WECAN)

321. Megan A.Crouse (Ally), Hospice Maui

322. Craig Kauffman (Ally), Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon

323. Alex Poisson (Ally), Sustainability Coordinator / SUNY-ESF

324. Ashley Woody (Ally), University of Oregon

325. Brett Clark, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Utah

326. Naomi Scheman (Ally), Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota

327. Michael Ruiz (Ally), Graduate Student, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Boston Children’s Hospital – Department of Orthopedic Surgery

328. Shelly Vendiola (Swinomish Tribal Community), Community Engagement Facilitator

329. Elizabeth Gibbons (Ally), American Society of Adaptation Professionals

330. Kimla McDonald (Ally), The Cultural Conservancy

331. Kaya DeerInWater (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Graduate Student, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

332. Nancy Lee Willet (Wampanoag), College of Marin

333. Julianne A. Hazlewood (Ally), University of California, Santa Cruz

334. Antoine Traisnel (Ally), University of Michigan

335. Dr. Julianne A. Hazlewood (Ally), Instructor, Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

336. Gleb Raygorodetsky (Ally), Biocultural Diversity Consultant

337. Amanda L. Kelley (Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone), University of Alaska Fairbanks

338. Iyekiyapiwin Darlene St. Clair (Bdewakantunwan Dakota), Associate Professor, St. Cloud State University

339. Angela Bowen (Coos), Director of Education

340. Meghan McClain (Ally), Tech–Microsoft

341. Wikuki Kingi (Maori / Hawaii), Cultural Symbologist / Master Indigenous Technologist / Navigator – Pou Kapua Creations; Planet Maori; TE HA Alliance

342. Tania Wolfgramm (Maori / Tonga), Cultural Psychologist / Systems Sculptor / Technologist / Evaluator – HAKAMANA; Pou Kapua Creations; TE HA Alliance; Smart Path Healthcare

343. Ann Marie Sayers (Costanoan/Ohlone.Indian Canyon Nation), Costanoan Indian Research……frounder

344. Robert L. Houle (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Indians), Executive Director of Bad River Housing Authority

345. Jason Stanley (Ally), Yale University

346. Marion Hourdequin (Ally), Associate Professor & Chair, Dept. of Philosophy, Colorado College

347. Sarah Kristine Baker (Muscogee Creek Nation/Euchee), Ally

348. Dr. Nicole Bowman (Mohican / Lenaape), Evaluator, University of WI Madison

349. Christian Cazares (Ally), Neuroscience Graduate Student

350. Roberta L Millstein (Ally), Professor of Philosophy, UC Davis

351. Janet Kourany (Ally), Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

352. Dr. Elizabeth Minnich (Ally), A.A.C.& U.

353. Dominique M. Davíd-Chavez (Borikén Taíno), PhD Student Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University

354. Kristin K’eit (Inupiaq/Tlingit), Environmental Scientist, Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining

355. Dr. Lorraine Code (Ally), Distinguished Research Professor, York University, Toronto, Canada

356. Erik Jensen (Ally), Michigan State University

357. Jerry Mander (Ally), Author, president Intl. Forum on Globalization

358. Forest Haven (Ts’msyen), PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

359. Margaret McCasland (Ally), Science educator; Earthcare Working Group, NYYM (Quaker)

360. Adam Briggle (Ally), University of North Texas

361. Irene Klaver (Ally), Professor of Philosophy, University of North Texas

362. Susannah R. McCandless, PhD (Ally), Global Diversity Foundation

363. Lona Sepessy (Ally), Librarian at Arrowhead Elementary School

364. Jason Smith (Ally), Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Fisheries Research

365. Dr. Luan Fauteck Makes Marks (SE Sioux, SE Algonquian, California Indian), Independent Researcher

366. Mariaelena Huambachano (Quechua), Postdoctoral Research Associate in American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Brown University

367. Jo Rodgers (Ally), Community Engagement Coordinator, Willamette Farm & Food Coalition

368. Lisa Rivera (Ally), Associate Professor, UMass Boston

369. Lea Foushee (Tsalagi), U of MN research

370. Carolyn Singer (Shoshone-Bannock Tribe), N/A

371. Dr. Dan Shilling (Ally), Retired foundation director

372. Dr. Sibyl Diver (Ally), Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University

373. Jeffrey McCarthy (Ally), Environmental Humanities, Utah

374. Kristin J. Jacobson (Ally), Stockton University

375. Elise Dela Cruz -Talbert (Native Hawaiian), University of Hawaii

376. Barbara Sawyer-Koch (Ally), Trustee Emerita, Michigan State University

377. Richard E.W. Berl (Ally), Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University

378. Ahmed Lyadib (Amazigh Morocco), Amazigh

379. Paige West (Ally), Barnard College and Columbia University

380. Jocelyn Delgado (Ally), UCSC Undergraduate researcher

381. Dr Krushil Watene (Maori, Tonga), Massey University

382. Jonathan Tsou (Ally), Iowa State University

383. David Naguib Pellow (Ally), University of California, Santa Barbara

384. Hafsa Mustafa (Ally), Researcher/Evaluator/Adjunct Faculty

385. Felica Ahasteen-Bryant (Diné), Director, Native American Educational and Cultural Center (NAECC), Purdue University and Chapter Advisor, Purdue AISES

386. Jess Bier (Ally), Erasmus University

387. Eun Kang, Environmental Studies, Korea Maritime & Ocean University

388. Gary Martin (Ally), Global Diversity Foundation

389. Cara O’Connor (Ally), BMCC-CUNY

390. Katina Michael (Ally), University of Wollongong

391. Mary Elaine Kiener, RN, PhD (Ally), Creative Energy Officer, ASK ME House LLC

392. Heather Houser (Ally), UT Austin

393. Dr. Ken Wilson (Ally), Retired (ex-University of Oxford; Ford Foundation; Christensen Fund)

394. Alia Al-Saji (Ally), McGill University

395. Kim Díaz (Ally), USDOJ

396. Alice M. McMechen (Ally), Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Cornwall Monthly Meeting, NY

397. Gloria J Lowe (Cherokee Nation), Executive Director We Want Green, too

398. Cristian Ruiz Altaba (Ally), Biologist, Director of Llevant Natural Park ((Mallorca)

399. Brian and Iris Stout (Ally and Cherokee Nation), Forester and Author

400. Noelle Romero (Ally), UNC-CH Program Coordinator

401. Kathryn Krasinski (Ally), Adelphi University

402. Jane Cross (Ally), physician

403. Katie McShane (Ally), Associate Professor of Philosophy, Colorado State University

404. Nicole Seymour (Ally), Assistant Professor of English and Affiliated Faculty in Environmental Studies and Queer Studies, Cal State Fullerton

405. Marsha Small (Northern Cheyenne), Adjunct Instructor, Bozeman, MT

406. D.S. Red Haircrow (Chiricahua Apache/Cherokee) Writer, Psychologist, Master’s Student Native American Studies, Montana State University, Bozeman

407. Dr. John V. Stone (Ally), Applied Anthropologist, MSU

408. Paul Cook (Ally), Electro-Optical Scientist

409. Jennifer Mokos (Ally), Ohio Wesleyan University Dept. of Geology & Geography

410. James Matthew McCullough (Ally), North Central Michigan College

411. Vicki Lindabury (Ally), New York State Certified Dietitian Nutritionist

412. Roben Itchoak (Mary’s Igloo), Student, University of Oregon

413. Kath Weston (Ally/Romani), University of Virginia

414. Kelly Wisecup (Ally), Northwestern University

415. Becky Neher (Ally), University of Georgia

416. Sarah D. Wald (Ally), University of Oregon

417. Jill Grant (Ally), Environmental lawyer

418. Joseph Len Miller (Muscogee [Creek] Nation). University of Washington, Seattle

419. Richard Peterson (Ally), Professor Emeritus Michigan State University

420. Kevin Fellezs (Kanaka Maoli – Native Hawaiian), Columbia University

421. Jessica M. Moss (Ally), Georgia State University, Tribal Liaison

422. Christina Ferwerda (Ally), Independent Exhibit & Curriculum Developer

423. Lindsay MArean (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), University of Oregon

424. Andrea Catacora (Ally), Archaeologist

425. Cassie Warholm-Wohlenhaus (Ally)

426. Catriona Sandilands (Ally), Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

427. Dr. Johnnye Lewis (Ally), Director, Community Environmental Health Program, University of New Mexico

428. Julie Williams (Ally), Consulting Archaeologist

429. Kerri Finlayson (Ally), North Central Michigan College

430. Alan Zulch (Ally), Tamalpais Trust

431. Ivette Perfecto (Ally), University of Michigan

432. Emily Jean Leischner (Ally), Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia

433. Megan Carney (Ally), University of Washington

434. Andrea Catacora (Ally), Archaeologist

435. Janette Bulkan (Ally), University of British Columbia

436. Jillian Mayer, Master of Science candidate

437. Nancy Marie Mithlo, Ph.D. (Chiricahua Apache [Ft. Sill Apache]), Associate Professor, Occidental College and Chair of American Indian Studies, Autry Museum of the American West

438. Hayden Hedman (Cherokee Nation), University of Michigan

439. Juliet P. Lee (Ally), Prevention Research Center, PIRE

440. Kaitlin McCormick (Ally), Postdoctoral Researcher (Anthropology and Museum Studies) Brown University

441. Nancy Rosoff (Ally), Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator Arts of the Americas Brooklyn Museum

442. Kathryn Shanley (Nakoda), Native American Studies, University of Montana

443. Robin Morris Collin (Ally), Norma J. Paulus Professor of Law Willamette University College of Law

444. Albany Jacobson Eckert (Bad River Lake Superior Chippewa), University of Michigan

445. Lois Ellen Frank (Kiowa/Sephardic), Native American Chef/Owner Red Mesa Cuisine/Native Foods Historian/Educator/Adjunct Professor Institute of American Indian Arts

446. John Grim (Ally), Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

447. Don McIntyre (Anishinabek), Professor University of Lethbridge

448. Robert B. Richardson (Ally), Associate Professor, Michigan State University

449. Craig Hassel (Ally), University of Minnesota

450. Melinda J McBride (Ally), Anthropologist

451. Saori Ogura (Ally), University of British Columbia

452. Dr. Paulette Faith Steeves (Cree-Metis), UMASS Amherst

453. Mary Hynes (Ally), University of Illinois

454. Dr. Robert J. David- Indigenous Archaeologist (Klamath Tribes), Visiting Scholar, University of California Berkeley

455. Max Gordon (Ally), SUNY-ESF, Biomimicry Club President

456. Mechelle Clark (Chippewas of Stoney Point First Nation), Student, Western University

457. Marijke Stoll (Ally), PhD Candidate, Univesity of Arizona

458. inanc tekguc (ally), Global Diversity Foundation

459. Kevin J. O’Brien (Ally), Pacific Lutheran University

460. Dr. M.A. (Peggy) Smith (Cree), Vice-Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives), Lakehead University

461. Catherine V. Howard, Ph.D. (Ally), Independent Scholar

462. Robert Alexander Innes (Plains Cree/Saulteaux/Metis), Associate Professor, Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan

463. Joy Hendry Scot, Professor Emerita, Oxford Brookes University

464. Catherine V. Howard, Ph.D. (Ally), Independent Scholar

465. Kimberly Yazzie (Navajo), University of Washington

466. Heather Rose MacIsaac (Ally), Graduate Student of Applied Archaeology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

467. Gabi May (Metis), University of Michigan

468. Dr Raquel Thomas-Caesar, North Rupununi District Development Board, Iwokrama International Centre For Rain Forest Conservation and Joy Bloser Ally New York University, Conservation Center

469. Kirby Gchachu (Zuni Pueblo), Retired Educator, Chaco Canyon Archeoastonomy Researcher

470. Dr. John Tuxill (Ally) Fairhaven College, Western Washington University

471. Barbara A. Roy (“Bitty”) (Ally), Professor, University of Oregon

472. Justin Lawson (Ally), University of Washington

473. Joanne Barker (Lenape), San Francisco State University

474. Angela A. McComb (Ally), Student, MA Public Archaeology, Binghamton University

475. Donna Tocci (Ally), Field Museum of Natural History (former)

476. Paul McCullough (Ally), retired

477. Dr. Annie Belcourt (Mandan Hidatsa Blackfeet Chippewa), Associate Professor

478. Penelope Myrtle Kelsey (Seneca descent), University of Colorado at Boulder

479. Wendy McConkey (Ally), Cross Cultural Sharing & Learning

480. Kristina M. Hill (Ally), M.A. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, East Carolina University

481. Mark Dowie (Ally), Author: The Haida Gwaii Lesson (Inkshares Press 2017)

482. Dara Shore (Ally), NPS

483. Dr. Brady Heiner (Ally), Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton

484. Avni Pravin (Ally), University of Oregon

485. Janice Klein (Ally) M.A., University of Birmingham (U.K.)

486. René Herrera (Ally), University of South Florida

487. Kevin Chang, Executive Director Kua’aina Ulu ‘Auamo (KUA)

488. Celina Solis-Becerra (Ally), PhD Student. University of British Columbia.

489. Gregory Armstrong (Ally), Holy Wisdom Monastery

490. Aurora Kagawa-Viviani (Hawaiian, Pauoa, Oʻahu), graduate student, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

491. Nerissa Russell (Ally), Cornell University

492. Joshua Dickinson (Ally), Forest Management Trust

493. Kristie Dotson (Ally), Michigan State University

494. Dominique M. Davíd-Chavez (Borikén Taíno), Indigenous Outlier (Grad Student), Colorado State University Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, NSF Graduate Research Fellow

495. Dr. Virginia Nickerson (Ally), Independent consulting researcher

496. Dr. Christa Mulder (Ally), University of Alaska Faribanks

497. Shu-Guang, Li Civil and Environmental Engineeing Michigan State University

498. Andrea Godoy (Shinnecock), Southampton, NY

499. Randolph Haluza-DeLay (Ally-US citizen), The King’s University

500. Sharyn Clough, PhD (Ally), Professor, co-director Phronesis Lab Oregon State University

501. Richard McCoy (Ally), Landmark Columbus

502. J. Saniguq Ullrich (Nome Eskimo Community), PhD student

503. Dr . Kat Napaaqtuk Milligan-Myhre (Inupiaq), University of Alaska Anchorage

504. Kaitlin McCormick (Ally), Postdoctoral Researcher, Anthropology and Museum Studies, Brown University

505. Kim Harrison (Ally), Professional Archaeologist

506. Penny Davies (Cymraeg Welsh), Ford Foundation

507. Erin Turner (Ally), MFA candidate in Social Practice at Queens College CUNY

508. Meagan Dennison (Ally), Graduate student

509. Deborah Webster (Onondaga Nation), Nedrow, New York

510. Kaipo Dye, MS – Columbia University (Native Hawaiian), University of Hawaii at Mania, Hawaii Community College – OCET

511. Philip Mohr (Ally), Curator, Des Plaines History Center

512. Jessica Brunacini (Ally), The Earth Institute, Columbia University

513. Dominic Van Horn (Ally), Shelby County Schools

514. Rosanna ʻAnolani Alegado (Kanaka ʻoiwi/Hawaiʻi), Assistant Professor, Oceanography, University of Hawaiʻi

515. Bryan Ness (Ally), Pacific Union College

516. Joni Adamson, PhD (Ally), Environmental Humanities and Sustainability

517. Dr. Michelle Garvey (Ally), Instructor: Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies, UMN

518. Sydney Jordan (Ally)

519. John-Carlos Perea (Mescalero Apache, Irish, Chicano, German), Associate Professor, American Indian Studies, College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University

520. Huamani Orrego (Ally), Master’s student

521. Giancarlo Rolando (Ally), University of Virginia

522. Dr. Jessica Bissett Perea (Dena’ina – Knik Tribe) Assistant Professor of Native American Studies, University of California Davis

523. Julie Skurski (Ally), Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center

524. Dr. Linda Marie Richards (Ally), Historian of Science, Oregon State University

525. Eric Thomas Weber (Ally), The University of Kentucky

526. Sarah Jaquette Ray (Ally), Humboldt State University

527. Nan Kendy (Ally), Green Party of British Columbia

528. James Sterba (Ally), Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

529. Katie McKendry (Ally), George Washington University

530. Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy (Lac Seul First Nation – Ojibway), Lecturer, Gender Studies

531. Miriam MacGillis (Ally), Director, Genesis Farm

532. Miriam Saperstein (Ally), Student at the University of Michigan

533. Emily-Bell Dinan (Ally), Graduate Student, Environmental Studies, University of Oregon

534. Danielle Kiesow (Ally), Indiana University of Pennsylvania

535. L. Irene Terry (Ally), University of Utah

536. Ann Allen (Ally), Independent Scholar, affiliated to Auckland University of Technology

537. Eleanor Sterling (Ally), Columbia University

538. Sandy Barringer (Ally), Reiki Master, Pranic Healer Level III, Shaman

539. Dr. Stacy Alaimo (Ally), Professor of English

540. Jennifer Shannon (Ally), University of Colorado

541. Eun Sook, Professor Environmental Policies

542. Mariaelena Huambachano (Quechua), Postdoctoral Research Associate in American and Ethnic Studies, Brown University

543. Janet Lyon (Ally), Associate Professor

544. Cassandra Bloedel (Navajo), Environmental Sciences and Conservation et al

545. Alaka Wali (Ally), Curator, The Field Museum

546. Sandra Luo (Ally), Middlebury College

547. Lesley k. Iaukea (Native Hawaiian), PhD student, University of Hawaii

548. John White (Ally), Tulane University, Community-based Conservation of Amazonian Food Plants Genetic Resources and Associated Indigenous Knowledge

549. Travis Fink (Ally), PhD Student, Anthropology, Tulane University

550. Eleanor Weisman (Ally), Allegheny College

551. Dr Albert Refiti (Samoa), Auckland University of Technology

552. Sheila Contreras (Ally), Associate Professor, Michigan State University

553. Eduardo Mendieta (Ally), Penn State University

554. Tim van den Boog (Arawak/Trio, Suriname), UBC

555. David Skrbina (Ally), Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan (Dearborn)

556. Mark Sicoli (Ally), University of Virginia

557. Belinda Ramírez (Ally), Sociocultural Anthropology PhD Student, UC San Diego

558. Teri Micco (Ally), Artist

559. Wayne Riggs (Ally), Philosophy Department, University of Oklahoma

560. John Norder (Spirit Lake Tribe), Michigan State University

561. Dimitris Stevis (Ally), Colorado State University

562. Sherry Copenace (Anishinaabe), Ikwe

563. Associate Professor Deirdre Tedmanson (Ally), University of South Australia

564. Rebecca Albury (Ally), University of Wollongong (retired)

565. Dr. Tanya Peres (Ally), Anthroplogy

566. Laurie Begin (American – Ally), Occupational therapy

567. Lauren Nuckols (Ally), Penn State University

568. Jade Johnson (Navajo Nation), Undergraduate Research Assistant

569. Diane Thompson (Ally), Keeper of the home

570. Beverly Bell (Ally), Other Worlds

571. Ian Werkheiser (Ally), University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

572. Leana Hosea (Ally), Journalist

573. Paul Edward Montgomery Ramírez (Mankemé), University of York

574. Heather Davis (Ally), Penn State

575. Dr. David L. Mausel (Mvskoke), Forest ecologist, MTE

576. Catherine V. Howard, Ph.D. (Ally), Social Research Editing Services

577. B.T. Kimoto (Ally), Emory University

578. Sara Saba (Ally), Emory University

579. Maria Luisa Ciminelli (Ally), independent scholar

580. Sarah Buie (Ally), Professor Emerita, Clark University

581. Dave McCormick (Ally), PhD student, anthropology, Yale University

582. Michael D. Doan (Ally), Eastern Michigan University

583. Dr Tracey Mcintosh (Tuhoe, Aotearoa New Zealand ), Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, University of Auckland

584. Kelsey Amos (Ally), University of Hawaiʻi

585. Bob Rabin (Ally), Research meteorologist & student, Ilisagvik University

586. Julie Cotton, MS (Ally), Michigan State University, Sustainable Agriculture

587. Lisa Kretz (Ally), Assistant Professor, University of Evansville

588. Kiri Del;l (Ngati Porou), The University of Auckland

589. Carol Cooperrider (Ally), Former Archaeologist, retired Explora Science Center Graphic Designer

590. Darin Thomas (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Graduate Student

591. Shawndina Etcitty (Navajo) Medical Laboratory Technician in Flow Cytometry and Hematology

592. Wyatt Musashi Maui Bartlett (Hawaiian ), Student

593. Sharon Ziegler-Chong (Ally), University of Hawaii at Hilo

594. Christine Winter (Ngāti Kahungunu), PhD Candidate

595. Alex Winter-Billington (Ngāti Kahungunu), PhD Candidate

596. Roberto Domingo Toledo (Ally), Independent Researcher (Philosophy and Sociology))

597. Steve Hemming (Ally), Associate Professor Flinders University

598. Kaushalya Munda (Bharat Munda Samaj, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India), M.A Sociology, & LLB.

599. Dana Dudle (Ally), DePauw University

600. Don Ihde, (Ally), Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Stony Brook University, NY, USA

601. Shobita Parthasarathy (Ally), University of Michigan

602. Suzanne Held (Ally), Professor of Community Health, Montana State University

603. Dr. Michael L. Naylor (Ally), Comprehensive Studies Program, University of Michigan, “Our World” Life-Skills Project, Washtenaw Community College

604. Jeremy Narby, Ph. D. (Ally), Nouvelle Planète

605. David Isaac (Ally), JD Student University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law

606. Dr. Raynald Harvey Lemelin (Ally), Lakehead University

607. Doug Medin (Ally), Professor of Psychology and Education and Social Policy

608. Dr. Michael Menser (Ally), Department of Philosophy, Brooklyn College, Earth and Environmental Science, CUNY Graduate Center; President of the Board, Participatory Budgeting Project

609. Dr. Sylvia Hood Washington (Piscataway,Creek,Cherokee Descendant), Editor in Chief Environmental Justice Journal

610. Susanna Donaldson, PhD (Ally), West Virginia University

611. Jessica Robinson (Ally), University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment

612. Robert Craycraft (Ally), M.A Anthrpology student, American University

613. Daniel L. Dustin (Ally), University of Utah

614. Dr. Nanibaa’ Garrison (Navajo), Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and University of Washington

615. Elizabeth V. Spelman (Ally), Professor of Philosophy, Smith College

616. Patricia Kim (Ally), University of Pennsylvania

617. Timoteo Mesh (Yucatec Maya), PhD Candidate, University of Florida

618. Rebecca Hardin (Ally), University of Michigan

619. Allison Guess (Black collaborator), PhD Student

620. Natalie Sampson (Ally), University of Michigan

621. Alissa Baker-Oglesbee (Cherokee Nation), Northwestern University

622. Montana Stevenson (Ally), Student, School of Natural Resources and Environment/School of Business, University of Michigan

623. Dr. Leah Temper (Ally), Autonomous University of Barcelona

624. Allison Guess (Black collaborator), CUNY Grad Center program of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Human Geography)

625. Sara Smith (Oneida), Natural resource technician for Stockbridge-Munsee Community

626. Dr. Wendi A Haugh (Ally), Associate Professor of Anthropology, St. Lawrence University

627. Micha Rahder (Ally), Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Louisiana State University

628. Susan Knoppow (Ally), Wow Writing Workshop

629. Noah Theriault (Ally), University of Oklahoma

630. Alyssa Cudmore (Ally), Graduate Student

631. Adam J Pierce (Ally), PhD. Student Integrated Bioscience

632. Stephanie Diane Pierce (Ally), Biomimicry and education, content developer

633. Alex Peters (Ally), University of Michigan

634. Beverly Naidus (Ally), Associate Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, University of Washington, Tacoma

635. Tatiana Schreiber (Ally), Adjunct Faculty, Environmental Studies, Keene State College

636. Amy Michael (Ally), Albion College

637. Clement Loo (Ally), University of Minnesota, Morris

638. Johanna Fornberg (Ally), Graduate Student

639. Mike Ilardi (Ally), University of Michigan

640. Matt Samson (Ally)

641. Gabrielle Hecht (Ally), University of Michigan

642. Elizabeth Damon (Ally), Director Keepers of the Water

643. Erica Jones (Ally), Independent Scholar

644. Omayra Ortega

645. Roy Clarke (Ally), University of Michigan

646. Thomas Bretz (Ally), Utah Valley University

647. Les Field, Jewish University of New Mexico

648. Cassidy A. Dellorto-Blackwell (Ally), University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment

649. Lee Bloch (Ally), University of Virginia

650. Dale Petty (Ally), Professional Faculty, Advanced Manufacturing, Washtenaw Community College

651. Sofiya Shreyer (Ally), Anthropology Department, Bridgewater State University

652. Gordon Henry (White Earth Anishinaabe), Poet, Senior Editor, American Indian Studies Series, MSU Press

653. Joshua Lockyer, Ph.D. (Ally), Arkansas Tech University

654. bonnie chidester (ally), nurse community builder

655. Chris Fremantle (Ally), Edinburgh College of Art

656. Eric Boynton (Ally), Allegheny College

657. R. Eugene Turner (Ally), Louisiana State University

658. Kate Chapel (Ally), University of Michigan

659. Alex Kinzer (Ally), University of Michigan

660. K. Arthur Endsley (Ally), PhD Candidate, University of Michigan

661. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman (Ally), Senior Scientist, Pesticide Action Network

662. Braden Elliott (Ally), PhD Candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dartmouth College

663. Dr. Yogi Hale Hendlin (Ally), Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California, San Francisco

664. Robert Geroux (Blackfeet [Amskapi Pikuni] descent), IUPUI

665. Brianna Bull Shows (Crow), Student researcher

666. Grace Ndiritu (Ally), Visual Artist

667. Sarah Barney (Ally), University of Michigan

668. Richard Tucker (Ally), University of Michigan

669. Andrew Kinzer (Ally), University of Michigan – School of Natural Resources and Environment

670. Iokiñe Rodriguez (Ally) to Latin American Indigenous Peoples), Senior Lecturer, School of International Development, University of East Anglia

671. Kim Nace (Ally), Rich Earth Institute

672. Laura Baker (Ally), Marketing

673. Melissa Wallace (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Information Technology

674. Jame Schaefer, Ph.D. (Ally), Marquette University

675. Schuyler Chew (Mohawk, Six Nations of the Grand River), Doctoral Student, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, University of Arizona

676. Annie Mandart (Ally), from Tuscarora Nation), Academic Affairs, Daemen College

677. Steve Breyman (Ally), Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

678. Courtney Carothers (Ally), University of Alaska

679. Dr. Renee A. Botta Ally Associate Professor, Global Health and Development Communication, University of Denver

680. Gregory Smithers (Ally), Virginia Commonwealth University

681. Jasmine Pawlicki (Sokaogon Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Graduate Student-University of Arizona; Information Resources Assistant Sr.-University of Michigan Library Operations

682. Emily Blackmer (Ally), Former research assistant at Dartmouth College

683. Michael E. Bird MSW-MPH (Santo Domingo/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo), Past President American Public Health Association

684. Kelli Herr (Ally), Student at Penn State University

685. Lilly Fink Shapiro (Ally), University of Michigan

686. Dr. Kelly S Bricker (Ally), The University of Utah, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

687. Jim Maffie (Ally), University of Maryland

688. Basia Irland (Ally), Professor Emerita, UNM

689. Kelly S Bricker (Ally), University of Utah

690. Anapaula Bazan Munoz (Ally), Pennsylvania State University

691. Blaire Topash-Caldwell (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi), University of New Mexico

692. Todd Mitchell (Swinomish Environmental Director), Swinomish Department of Environmental Protection

693. Elizabeth H Simmons (Ally), Michigan State University, Department of Physics & Astronomy

694. Malia Naeole-Takasato (Kanaka Maoli), Educator

695. Joseph Paki (Ally), University of Michigan

696. J D Wainwright (Ally), Ohio State University

697. Fatma Müge Göçek (Ally), Professor of Sociology

698. Jennifer Welchman (Ally), Professor of Philosophy, University of Alberta

699. Kimber Dawson (Descendant of Fort Peck Assiniboine Sioux and Colville Confederated Tribes) The Pennsylvania State University

700. Kennan Ferguson (Ally), Center for 21st Century Studies, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

701. Amara Geffen (Ally) Allegheny College

702. Dennis Kirchoff (Ally), Engineer

703. Nathan Martin (Oneida of Wi and Menominee), ASU graduate

704. Dr. Elizabeth DeLoughrey (Ally), Professor, University of California

705. Peter Kozik (Ally), Keuka College

706. Raymond De Young (Ally), University of Michigan

707. Amelie Huber (Ally), PhD Candidate, Institute of Environmental Science & Technology, Autonomous University Barcelona

708. Janet Fiskio (Ally), Oberlin College

709. Stacey Tecot (Ally), University of Arizona

710. Kate A. Berry (Ally), University of Nevada, Reno

711. Alice Elliott (Ally), Master’s candidate, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment

712. Vitor Machado Lira (Ally), Circlepoint/ University of Michigan

713. Chris Karounos (Ally), Master’s Student University of Michigan

714. Agustin Fuentes (Ally), University of Notre Dame

715. Sally Haslanger (Ally), Ford Professor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

716. Bonnie Mennell (Ally), Educator

717. Tim Richardson (Uyak Natives, inc), Government Affairs consultant

718. April Richards (Ally), University of Michigan

719. Melissa Watkinson (Chickasaw), University of Washington

720. Sharon Traweek (Ally), UCLA

721. Stefano Varese (Ally), Professor Emeritus of NAS-UC Davis

722. Dr. MJ Hardman (Jaqi people of South America, Jaqaru – Tupe, Yauyos, Lima, Perú), U of Florida (emeritus)

723. Jamie Beck Alexander (Ally), Nest.org

724. Eric Palmer (Ally), Allegheny College

725. Dr. Chellie Spiller (Maori – Ngati Kahungunu), University of Auckland

726. Margaret Susan Draskovich Mete (Ally), Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA); Indigenous Studies PhD student at University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)

727. Anne Elise Stratton (Ally), University of Michigan

728. Frederique Apffel-Marglin (Ally), Smith College, Dept of Anthropology (Emeritus)

729. Diana Chapman Walsh (Ally), President emerita, Wellesley College

730. . Kristina Meshelski (Ally), California State University, Northridge

731. sean kelly (ally), CIIS

732. Mike Fortun (Ally), Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

733. Chris Mcbride (Pākehā / Walking alongside /Ally), Curator/Artist The Kauri Project Aotearoa

734. Neal Salisbury (Ally), Barbara Richmond 1940 Professor Emeritus in the Social Sciences (History) Smith College

735. Marie Berry (Ally), University of Denver

736. Ursula K Heise (Ally), Marcia H. Howard Chair in Literary Studies, Department of English and Institute of the Environment & Sustainability, UCLA

737. Vanda Radzik (Ally), Associate of the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation & Development

738. Pete Westover (Ally), Adjunct Professor of Ecology, Hampshire College

739. Dr. Christina Holmes (Ally), DePauw University

740. Mike Burbidge (Ally), University of Michigan

741. Richard J Kulibert (Ally), Nannyberry Native Plants

742. Katherine Gordon (Ally), University of California Riverside

743. Dr. Chaone Mallory (Ally), Discursive Activist

744. Linda Ayre de Varese (Ally), Artist and Teacher

745. Dr. Claudia J. Ford (Non Citizen Cherokee), Faculty, Rhode Island School of Design

746. Dr. Chaone Mallory (Ally), Associate Professor of Environmental Philosophy

747. Joy Hannibal (Belauan/Palauan), Academic Advisor, Michigan State University

748. Marina Zurkow (Ally), artist and educator, ITP, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

749. Luisa Maffi (Ally), Terralingua

750. Denise Burchsted (Ally), Assistant Professor, Keene State College

751. Lindy Labriola (Ally), Student

752. Beth Preston (Ally), Professor of Philosophy, University of Georgia

753. Eaton Asher (Ally), Western UniversityEric Ederer Ally Public Health MPH

754. Andrew Ross (Ally), Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU

755. sakej younblood henderson (Chickasaw), Native Science Academy

756. Amy Kuʻuleialoha Stillman (Native Hawaiian), University of Michigan

757. Gretel Ehrlich (Ally: Inuit), Published writer

758. Watson Puiahi (Areare Namo Araha Council of Chief), ILukim Sustainability Solomon Islands

759. David Schlosberg (Ally), University of Sydney, Sydney Environment Institute

760. Jean Jackson (Ally), Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

761. Julie Gaffarel (Ally), Agronomist and doula

762. Antonina Griecci Woodsum (Ally), Columbia University Graduate Student

763. Todd May (Ally), Clemson University

764. Kathleen Dean Moore (Ally), Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Oregon State University

765. Phil Rees (Ally), Terralingua

766. Dr. J. Lin Compton, PhD (Cherokee, Mohawk ), Professor Emeritus, University of Wiscosinnsin

767. Kristina Anderson (Ally), Graduate Student

768. August Pattiselanno (Ambonese), Agribusiness Department, Faculty of Agricultural, Pattimura University

769. Susana Nuccetelli (Ally), St. Cloud State University

770. Khadijah Jacobs (Navajo Nation), Student at UNM

771. Gary Seay (Ally), Medgar Evers College/CUNY

772. Thomas K Seligman (Ally), Stanford University

773. Hiram Larew, Ph.D. (Ally), Retired, US Department of Agriculture

774. Joan Baron (Ally), environmental artist

775. Lisa Heldke (Ally), Professor of Philosophy; Director, Nobel Conference, Gustavus Adolphus College

776. Chad Okulich (Ally), Teacher

777. Liza Grandia (Ally), Associate Professor, Department of Native American Studies, UC-Davis

778. Rebecca Alexander (Ally), Assistant Professor of Education Studies, DePauw University

779. Larry Beck, Ph.D. (Ally), San Diego State University

780. Dr. Kevin Elliott (Ally), Associate Professor in Lyman Briggs College, Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife, and Dept. of Philosophy, Michigan State University

781. Amanda Meier (Ally), PhD Candidate, University of Michigan

782. Dr. Bruce D. Martin (Ally), The Pennsylvani State University

783. Janie Simms Hipp, JD, LLM (Chickasaw), Director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law

784. Philip Deloria (Dakota), University of Michigan

785. Geoffrey Johnson (Ally), University of Oregon

786. Dr. James Crowfoot (Ally), Professor and Dean Emeritus, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan

787. Gregory J. Marsano (Ally), Environmental Law and Policy Student, Vermont Law School

788. Dominic Bednar (Black), University of Michigan, Doctoral student

789. Devin Hansen (Sugpiaq), Forestry

790. Shona Ramchandani (Ally), Science Museum of Minnesota

791. Dr. Sean Kerins (Ally), Fellow, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, The Australian National University

792. Jill Hernandez (Ally), Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at San Antonio

793. John Grey (Ally), Michigan State University

794. Ann Regan (Ally), Minnesota Historical Society Press

795. Nancy Rich (Ally), Adjunct Professor, Environmental Biology, Springfield Technical Community College

796. Dr. Florence Vaccarello Dunkel (Sicilian Ally), Associate Professor of Entomology, Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology,Montana State University

797. Melissa Krug (Allly), Temple University

798. Joan Carling (Kankanaey-Igorot), Former member- Expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

799. Dennis Longknife Jr (Ally), Tribal Climate Change Scientist

800. Char Jensen (Ally), Naturopathic Physician, Spiritual Advisor, Teacher, Mentor

801. Guillermo Delgado-P. (Quechua linguistics), Anthropology Department, Univ. of California Santa Cruz

802. Georgina Cullman (Ally), American Museum of Natural History

803. Dr. Elizabeth Allison (Ally), California Institute of Integral Studies

804. Jeff Peterson (Alutiiq tribe of Old Harbor), Tourism business owner

805. Kris Sealey (Ally), Associate Professor of Philosophy, Fairfield University

806. Elizabeth Hoover (Mohawk/Mi’kmaq), Assistant Professor of American Studies, Brown University

807. David H. Kim (Ally), U of San Francisco

808. Jamie Holding Eagle (Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation), North Dakota State University

809. Dr. David L. Secord (Ally), University of Washington, Simon Fraser University, and Barnacle Strategies Consulting

810. Susanna B Hecht (Ally), UCLA and Graduate Institute for International Development,. Geneva

811. Raquell Holmes (Ally), Founder, improvscience; Assistant Research Prof. Boston University

812. Shakara Tyler (Ally), Graduate Student, Michigan State University

813. Irene Perez Llorente (Ally), UNAM

814. Christina Callicott (Ally), University of Florida

815. Julie Marckel (Ally), Science Museum of Minnesota

816. Elsa Hoover (Algonquin Anishinaabe), Columbia University

817. Jennifer Gardy (Ally), University of British Columbia

818. Nicole Sukdeo (Ally), University of Northern British Columbia

819. Kristina Mani (Ally), Oberlin College

820. Ricky Bell (Ngāti Hine, Aotearoa – New Zealand), University of Otago

821. Kimberly Danny (Navajo), Ph.D. Student, University of Arizona

822. Samuel M. ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa Gon III (Hawaiian), The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi; University of Hawaiʻi

823. Yi Deng (Ally), Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of North Georgia

824. Noelani Puniwai (Kanaka Maoli), University of Hawaii at Manoa

825. Yiran Emily Liu (Ally), Undergraduate Student Researcher

826. Britt Baatjes (Ally), Researcher

827. Dr. Stephanie Aisha Steplight Johnson (Ally), Higher Education Administrator

828. Jennifer Gunn (Ally), University of Minnesota

829. Andrea R. Gammon (Ally), PhD Researcher

830. Darren J. Ranco, PhD (Penobscot), University of Maine

831. Mascha Gugganig (Ally), Munich Center for Technology in Society, Technical University Munich

832. Jessie Pauline Collins (Cherokee-Saponi), Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi 2 (CRAFT)Sophia

833. Efstathiou (Ally) Programme for Applied Ethics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

834. David Tomblin (Ally), Director: Science, Technology and Society Program, University of Maryland

Ciência climática é ferramenta no combate à seca no Nordeste, afirma Carlos Nobre (ABIPTI)

JC 5593, 7 de fevereiro de 2017

“O entendimento das causas subjacentes às secas do Nordeste tem permitido se prever com antecedência de alguns meses a probabilidade de uma particular estação de chuvas no semiárido do Nordeste”, afirmou

O relatório oriundo da última reunião do Grupo de Trabalho de Previsão Climática Sazonal (GTPCS) do Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (MCTIC) aponta para um cenário preocupante: até o início de 2018, é esperado que os grandes e médios reservatórios nordestinos sequem. Por isso, é preciso criar novas oportunidades para a população.

Reconhecido como um dos principais pesquisadores mundiais sobre clima, Carlos Nobre destacou o papel das ciências climáticas para mitigar os impactos econômicos e sociais da seca na Região Nordeste. O pesquisador do Centro Nacional de Monitoramento e Alertas de Desastres Naturais e professor de pós-graduação do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Inpe) ressaltou que o conhecimento do clima cria alternativas econômicas e sociais para os moradores da região.

Na avaliação do pesquisador, a ciência climática evoluiu rapidamente nas últimas décadas, sendo uma ferramenta eficaz no combate à seca. “O entendimento das causas subjacentes às secas do Nordeste tem permitido se prever com antecedência de alguns meses a probabilidade de uma particular estação de chuvas no semiárido do Nordeste de fevereiro a maio ser deficiente, normal ou abundante. Estas previsões climáticas vêm sendo aperfeiçoadas ao longo do tempo e utilizadas para apoio ao planejamento agrícola, à gestão hídrica e à mitigação de desastres naturais”, afirmou Nobre.

Entre as ações propostas pelo cientista, está o investimento na criação de uma economia regional baseada em recursos naturais renováveis. Uma das alternativas sugeridas é a criação de parques de geração de energia eólica e solar fotovoltaica.

“O Nordeste tem um enorme potencial de energia eólica e solar, capaz de atender a todas suas necessidades e ainda exportar grandes volumes para o restante do Brasil. Estas formas de energia renovável distribuídas geram empregos permanentes localmente, mais numerosos do que aqueles gerados por hidrelétricas ou termelétricas e que poderiam beneficiar populações urbanas e rurais da região”, informou.

Carlos Nobre tem extensa atuação na área climática. Além de ocupar vários cargos no governo referentes ao setor climático, foi vencedor do Volvo Environment Prize – um dos principais prêmios internacionais sobre clima – e membro do Conselho Científico sobre Sustentabilidade Global da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU).

Agência ABIPTI, com informações do MCTI e Valor Econômico

Researchers say they’ve figured out what makes people reject science, and it’s not ignorance (Science Alert)

Why some people believe Earth is flat.

FIONA MACDONALD

23 JAN 2017

A lot happened in 2016, but one of the biggest cultural shifts was the rise of fake news – where claims with no evidence behind them (e.g. the world is flat) get shared as fact alongside evidence-based, peer-reviewed findings (e.g. climate change is happening).

Researchers have coined this trend the ‘anti-enlightenment movement‘, and there’s been a lot of frustration and finger-pointing over who or what’s to blame. But a team of psychologists has identified some of the key factors that can cause people to reject science – and it has nothing to do with how educated or intelligent they are.

In fact, the researchers found that people who reject scientific consensus on topics such as climate change, vaccine safety, and evolution are generally just as interested in science and as well-educated as the rest of us.

The issue is that when it comes to facts, people think more like lawyers than scientists, which means they ‘cherry pick’ the facts and studies that back up what they already believe to be true.

So if someone doesn’t think humans are causing climate change, they will ignore the hundreds of studies that support that conclusion, but latch onto the one study they can find that casts doubt on this view. This is also known as cognitive bias.

“We find that people will take a flight from facts to protect all kinds of belief including their religious belief, their political beliefs, and even simple personal beliefs such as whether they are good at choosing a web browser,” said one of the researchers, Troy Campbell from the University of Oregon.

“People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don’t necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant.”

This conclusion was based on a series of new interviews, as well as a meta-analysis of the research that’s been published on the topic, and was presented in a symposium called over the weekend as part of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual convention in San Antonio.

The goal was to figure out what’s going wrong with science communication in 2017, and what we can do to fix it.

The research has yet to be published, so isn’t conclusive, but the results suggest that simply focussing on the evidence and data isn’t enough to change someone’s mind about a particular topic, seeing as they’ll most likely have their own ‘facts’ to fire back at you.

“Where there is conflict over societal risks – from climate change to nuclear-power safety to impacts of gun control laws, both sides invoke the mantel of science,” said one of the team, Dan Kahan from Yale University.

Instead, the researchers recommend looking into the ‘roots’ of people’s unwillingness to accept scientific consensus, and try to find common ground to introduce new ideas.

So where is this denial of science coming from? A big part of the problem, the researchers found, is that people associate scientific conclusions with political or social affiliations.

New research conducted by Kahan showed that people have actually always cherry picked facts when it comes to science – that’s nothing new. But it hasn’t been such a big problem in the past, because scientific conclusions were usually agreed on by political and cultural leaders, and promoted as being in the public’s best interests.

Now, scientific facts are being wielded like weapons in a struggle for cultural supremacy, Kahan told Melissa Healy over at the LA Times, and the result is a “polluted science communication environment”.

So how can we do better?

“Rather than taking on people’s surface attitudes directly, tailor the message so that it aligns with their motivation,” said Hornsey. “So with climate skeptics, for example, you find out what they can agree on and then frame climate messages to align with these.”

The researchers are still gathering data for a peer-reviewed publication on their findings, but they presented their work to the scientific community for further dissemination and discussion in the meantime.

Hornsey told the LA Times that the stakes are too high to continue to ignore the ‘anti-enlightenment movement’.

“Anti-vaccination movements cost lives,” said Hornsey. “Climate change skepticism slows the global response to the greatest social, economic and ecological threat of our time.”

“We grew up in an era when it was just presumed that reason and evidence were the ways to understand important issues; not fear, vested interests, tradition or faith,” he added.

“But the rise of climate skepticism and the anti-vaccination movement made us realise that these enlightenment values are under attack.”

What It’s Like Being a Sane Person on the House Science Committee (Gizmodo)

12/23/16 12:00pm

Artwork by Jim Cooke

Congressional Committee tweets don’t usually get much attention. But when the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology sent out a link to a Breitbart story claiming a “plunge” in global temperatures, people took notice. The takedowns flew in, from Slate and Bernie Sanders, from plenty of scientists, and most notably from the Weather Channel, which deemed Breitbart’s use of their meteorologist’s face worthy of a point-by-point debunking video.

There is nothing particularly noteworthy about Breitbart screwing up climate science, but the House Science Committee is among the most important scientific oversight bodies in the country. Since Texas Republican Lamar Smith took over its leadership in 2012, the Committee has spiraled down an increasingly anti-science rabbit hole: absurd hearings aimed at debunking consensus on global warming, outright witch hunts using the Committee’s subpoena power to intimidate scientists, and a Republican membership that includes some of the most anti-science lawmakers in the land.

The GOP’s shenanigans get the headlines, but what about the other side of the aisle? What is it like to be a member of Congress and sit on a science committee that doesn’t seem to understand science? What is it like to be an adult in a room full of toddlers? I asked some of the adults.

“I think it’s completely embarrassing,” said Mark Veasey, who represents Texas’s 33rd district, including parts of Dallas and Fort Worth. “You’re talking about something that 99.9 percent—if not 100 percent—of people in the legitimate science community says is a threat….To quote Breitbart over some of the most brilliant people in the world—and those are American scientists—and how they see climate change, I just think it’s a total embarrassment.”

Paul Tonko, who represents a chunk of upstate New York that includes Albany, has also called it embarrassing. “It is frustrating when you have the majority party of a committee pushing junk science and disproven myths to serve a political agenda,” he said. “It’s not just beneath the dignity of the Science Committee or Congress as a whole, it’s inherently dangerous. Science and research seek the truth—they don’t always fit so neatly with agendas.”

“I think it’s completely embarrassing.”

Suzanne Bonamici, of Oregon’s 1st District, also called it frustrating “to say the least” that the Committee “is spending time questioning climate researchers and ignoring the broad scientific consensus.” California Rep. Eric Swalwellcalled it the “Science” Committee in an email, and made sure I noted the air quotes. He said that in Obama’s first term, the Committee helped push forward on climate change and a green economy. “For the last four years, however, being on the Committee has meant defending the progress we’ve made.”

Frustration, embarrassment, a sense of Sisyphean hopelessness—this sounds like a grim gig. And Veasey also said that he doesn’t have much hope for a change in the Science Committee’s direction, because that change would have to come from the chairman. Smith has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign support from the oil and gas industry over the years, and somehow finds himself in even greater climate change denial than ExxonMobil.

And of course, it isn’t just the leadership. The League of Conservation Voters maintains a scorecard of every legislator in Congress: for 2015, the most recent year available, the average of all the Democratic members on the science committee is 92.75 percent (with 100 being a perfect environment-friendly score). On the GOP side of the aisle, the average is just over three percent.

(I reached out to a smattering of GOP members of the Committee to get their take on its recent direction. None of them responded.)

Bill Foster, who represents a district including some suburbs of Chicago, is the only science PhD in all of Congress (“I very often feel lonely,” he said, before encouraging other scientists to run for office). “Since I made the transition from science into politics not so long ago, I’ve become very cognizant of the difference between scientific facts, and political facts,” he said. “Political facts can be established by repeating over and over something that is demonstrably false, then if it comes to be accepted by enough people it becomes a political fact.” Witness the 52 percent of Republicans who currently believe Trump won the popular vote, and you get the idea.

I’m not sure “climate change isn’t happening” has reached that “political fact” level, though Smith and his ilk have done their damndest. Recent polls suggest most Americans do understand the issue, and more and more they believe the government should act aggressively to tackle it.

“Political facts can be established by repeating over and over something that is demonstrably false, then if it comes to be accepted by enough people it becomes a political fact.”

That those in charge of our government disagree so publicly and strongly now has scientists terrified. “This has a high profile,” Foster said, “because if there is any committee in Congress that should operate on the basis of scientific truth, it ought to be the Science, Space, and Technology committee—so when it goes off the rails, then people notice.”

The odds of the train jumping back on the rails over the next four years appear slim. Policies that came from the Obama White House, like the Clean Power Plan, are obviously on thin ice with a Trump administration, and without any sort of check on Smith and company it is hard to say just how pro-fossil fuel, anti-climate the committee could really get.

In the face of all that, what is a sane member of Congress to do? Elizabeth Esty, who represents Connecticut’s 5th district, was among several Committee members to note that in spite of the disagreements on climate, she has managed to work with GOP leadership on other scientific issues. Rep. Swalwell said he will try and focus on bits of common ground, like the jobs that come with an expanding green economy. Rep. Veasey said his best hope is that some strong conservative voices from outside of Congress might start to make themselves heard by the Party’s upper echelons on climate and related issues.

An ugly and dire scenario, then, but the Democrats all seem to carry at least a glimmer of hope. “It’s certainly frustrating and concerning but I’m an optimist,” Esty said. “I wouldn’t run for this job if I weren’t.”

Dave Levitan is a science journalist, and author of the book Not A Scientist: How politicians mistake, misrepresent, and utterly mangle science. Find him on Twitter and at his website.

Researchers model how ‘publication bias’ does, and doesn’t, affect the ‘canonization’ of facts in science (Science Daily)

Date:
December 20, 2016
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
Researchers present a mathematical model that explores whether “publication bias” — the tendency of journals to publish mostly positive experimental results — influences how scientists canonize facts.

Arguing in a Boston courtroom in 1770, John Adams famously pronounced, “Facts are stubborn things,” which cannot be altered by “our wishes, our inclinations or the dictates of our passion.”

But facts, however stubborn, must pass through the trials of human perception before being acknowledged — or “canonized” — as facts. Given this, some may be forgiven for looking at passionate debates over the color of a dress and wondering if facts are up to the challenge.

Carl Bergstrom believes facts stand a fighting chance, especially if science has their back. A professor of biology at the University of Washington, he has used mathematical modeling to investigate the practice of science, and how science could be shaped by the biases and incentives inherent to human institutions.

“Science is a process of revealing facts through experimentation,” said Bergstrom. “But science is also a human endeavor, built on human institutions. Scientists seek status and respond to incentives just like anyone else does. So it is worth asking — with precise, answerable questions — if, when and how these incentives affect the practice of science.”

In an article published Dec. 20 in the journal eLife, Bergstrom and co-authors present a mathematical model that explores whether “publication bias” — the tendency of journals to publish mostly positive experimental results — influences how scientists canonize facts. Their results offer a warning that sharing positive results comes with the risk that a false claim could be canonized as fact. But their findings also offer hope by suggesting that simple changes to publication practices can minimize the risk of false canonization.

These issues have become particularly relevant over the past decade, as prominent articles have questioned the reproducibility of scientific experiments — a hallmark of validity for discoveries made using the scientific method. But neither Bergstrom nor most of the scientists engaged in these debates are questioning the validity of heavily studied and thoroughly demonstrated scientific truths, such as evolution, anthropogenic climate change or the general safety of vaccination.

“We’re modeling the chances of ‘false canonization’ of facts on lower levels of the scientific method,” said Bergstrom. “Evolution happens, and explains the diversity of life. Climate change is real. But we wanted to model if publication bias increases the risk of false canonization at the lowest levels of fact acquisition.”

Bergstrom cites a historical example of false canonization in science that lies close to our hearts — or specifically, below them. Biologists once postulated that bacteria caused stomach ulcers. But in the 1950s, gastroenterologist E.D. Palmer reported evidence that bacteria could not survive in the human gut.

“These findings, supported by the efficacy of antacids, supported the alternative ‘chemical theory of ulcer development,’ which was subsequently canonized,” said Bergstrom. “The problem was that Palmer was using experimental protocols that would not have detected Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that we know today causes ulcers. It took about a half century to correct this falsehood.”

While the idea of false canonization itself may cause dyspepsia, Bergstrom and his team — lead author Silas Nissen of the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark and co-authors Kevin Gross of North Carolina State University and UW undergraduate student Tali Magidson — set out to model the risks of false canonization given the fact that scientists have incentives to publish only their best, positive results. The so-called “negative results,” which show no clear, definitive conclusions or simply do not affirm a hypothesis, are much less likely to be published in peer-reviewed journals.

“The net effect of publication bias is that negative results are less likely to be seen, read and processed by scientific peers,” said Bergstrom. “Is this misleading the canonization process?”

For their model, Bergstrom’s team incorporated variables such as the rates of error in experiments, how much evidence is needed to canonize a claim as fact and the frequency with which negative results are published. Their mathematical model showed that the lower the publication rate is for negative results, the higher the risk for false canonization. And according to their model, one possible solution — raising the bar for canonization — didn’t help alleviate this risk.

“It turns out that requiring more evidence before canonizing a claim as fact did not help,” said Bergstrom. “Instead, our model showed that you need to publish more negative results — at least more than we probably are now.”

Since most negative results live out their obscurity in the pages of laboratory notebooks, it is difficult to quantify the ratio that are published. But clinical trials, which must be registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they begin, offer a window into how often negative results make it into the peer-reviewed literature. A 2008 analysis of 74 clinical trials for antidepressant drugs showed that scarcely more than 10 percent of negative results were published, compared to over 90 percent for positive results.

“Negative results are probably published at different rates in other fields of science,” said Bergstrom. “And new options today, such as self-publishing papers online and the rise of journals that accept some negative results, may affect this. But in general, we need to share negative results more than we are doing today.”

Their model also indicated that negative results had the biggest impact as a claim approached the point of canonization. That finding may offer scientists an easy way to prevent false canonization.

“By more closely scrutinizing claims as they achieve broader acceptance, we could identify false claims and keep them from being canonized,” said Bergstrom.

To Bergstrom, the model raises valid questions about how scientists choose to publish and share their findings — both positive and negative. He hopes that their findings pave the way for more detailed exploration of bias in scientific institutions, including the effects of funding sources and the different effects of incentives on different fields of science. But he believes a cultural shift is needed to avoid the risks of publication bias.

“As a community, we tend to say, ‘Damn it, this didn’t work, and I’m not going to write it up,'” said Bergstrom. “But I’d like scientists to reconsider that tendency, because science is only efficient if we publish a reasonable fraction of our negative findings.”


Journal Reference:

  1. Silas Boye Nissen, Tali Magidson, Kevin Gross, Carl T Bergstrom. Publication bias and the canonization of false factseLife, 2016; 5 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.21451

Pesquisadores temem ações de Trump relacionadas à ciência e ao clima (Folha de S.Paulo)

Damon Winter/The New York Times
Com menos dinheiro no orçamento, ciência pode ser uma das áreas mais afetadas
Com menos dinheiro no orçamento, ciência pode ser uma das áreas mais afetadas

SALVADOR NOGUEIRA
COLABORAÇÃO PARA A FOLHA

23/12/2016  02h00

A eleição de Donald Trump pode pressagiar um período de declínio para a ciência nos Estados Unidos.

Noves fora a retórica que lhe ganhou a Casa Branca, os planos que ele apresenta para a próxima gestão podem significar cortes orçamentários significativos em pesquisas.

A campanha do republicano à Presidência bateu fortemente em duas teclas: um plano vigoroso de corte de impostos, que reduziria a arrecadação em pelo menos US$ 4,4 trilhões nos próximos dez anos, e um plano de investimento em infraestrutura que consumiria US$ 1 trilhão no mesmo período.

Na prática, isso significa que haverá menos dinheiro no Orçamento americano que poderá ser direcionado para os gastos “discricionários” -aqueles que já não caem automaticamente na conta do governo por força de lei. É de onde vem o financiamento da ciência americana.

“Se o montante de gastos discricionários cai, o subcomitê de Comércio, Justiça e Ciência no Congresso receberá uma alocação menor, e eles terão menos dinheiro disponível para financiar suas agências”, diz Casey Dreier, especialista em política espacial da ONG Planetary Society.

Entre os órgãos financiados diretamente por esse subcomitê estão a Fundação Nacional de Ciência (NSF), a Administração Nacional de Atmosfera e Oceano (Noaa) e a Administração Nacional de Aeronáutica e Espaço (Nasa).

Existe a possibilidade de o financiamento sair intacto desse processo? Sim, mas não é provável. Algum outro setor precisaria pagar a conta.

SEM CLIMA

Ao menos no discurso, e fortemente apoiado por nomeações recentes, Trump já decidiu onde devem ocorrer os cortes mais profundos: ciência climática.

Que Trump se apresenta desde a campanha eleitoral como um negacionista da mudança do clima, não é segredo. No passado, ele chegou a afirmar que o aquecimento global é um embuste criado pelos chineses para tirar a competitividade da indústria americana.

(Para comprar essa versão, claro, teríamos de fingir que não foi a Nasa, agência americana, a maior e mais contundente coletora de evidências da mudança climática.)

Até aí, é o discurso antiglobalização para ganhar a eleição. Mas vai se concretizar no mandato?

Os sinais são os piores possíveis. O advogado Scott Pruitt, indicado para a EPA (Agência de Proteção do Ambiente), vê com ceticismo as políticas contra as mudanças climáticas. E o chefe da equipe de transição escolhido por Trump para a EPA é Myron Ebell, um notório negacionista da mudança climática.

O Centro para Energia e Ambiente do Instituto para Empreendimentos Competitivos, que Ebell dirige, recebe financiamento das indústrias do carvão e do petróleo. Colocá-lo para fazer a transição entre governos da EPA pode ser o clássico “deixar a raposa tomando conta do galinheiro”.

Como se isso não bastasse, durante a campanha os principais consultores de Trump na área de pesquisa espacial, Robert Walker e Peter Navarro, escreveram editoriais sugerindo que a agência espacial devia parar de estudar a própria Terra.

“A Nasa deveria estar concentrada primariamente em atividades no espaço profundo em vez de trabalho Terra-cêntrico que seria melhor conduzido por outras agências”, escreveram.

Há consenso entre os cientistas de que não há outro órgão com competência para tocar esses estudos e assumir a frota de satélites de monitoramento terrestre gerida pela agência espacial.

Além disso, passar as responsabilidades a outra instituição sem atribuir o orçamento correspondente é um jeito sutil de encerrar o programa de monitoramento do clima.

BACKUP

Se isso faz você ficar preocupado com o futuro das pesquisas, imagine os climatologistas nos EUA.

De acordo com o jornal “Washington Post”, eles estão se organizando para criar repositórios independentes dos dados colhidos, com medo que eles sumam das bases de dados governamentais durante o governo Trump.

Ainda que a grita possa evitar esse descaramento, a interrupção das pesquisas pode ter o mesmo efeito.

“Acho que é bem mais provável que eles tentem cortar a coleção de dados, o que minimizaria seu valor”, diz Andrew Dessler, professor de ciências atmosféricas da Universidade Texas A&M. “Ter dados contínuos é crucial para entender as tendências de longo prazo.”

E O QUE SOBRA?

Tirando a mudança climática, a Nasa deve ter algum suporte para dar continuidade a seus planos de longo prazo durante o governo Trump -talvez com alguma mudança.

De certo, há apenas a restituição do Conselho Espacial Nacional, criado durante o governo George Bush (o pai) e desativado desde 1993.

Reunindo as principais autoridades pertinentes, ele tem por objetivo coordenar as ações entre diferentes braços do governo e, com isso, dar uma direção estratégica mais clara e eficiente aos executores das atividades espaciais.

Isso poderia significar uma ameaça ao SLS (novo foguete de alta capacidade da Nasa) e à Orion (cápsula para viagem a espaço profundo), que devem fazer seu primeiro voo teste, não tripulado, em 2018.

Contudo, o apoio a esses programas no Congresso é amplo e bipartidário, de forma que dificilmente Trump conseguirá cancelá-los.

O que ele pode é redirecionar sua função. Em vez de se tornarem as primeiras peças para a “jornada a Marte”, que Barack Obama defendia para a década de 2030, eles seriam integrados num programa de exploração da Lua.

(Tradicionalmente, no Congresso americano, a Lua é um objetivo republicano, e Marte, um objetivo democrata. Não pergunte por quê.)

Trump deve ainda dar maior ênfase às iniciativas de parcerias comerciais para a exploração espacial. Em dezembro, Elon Musk, diretor da empresa SpaceX e franco apoiador da campanha de Hillary Clinton, passou a fazer parte de um grupo de consultores de Trump para a indústria de alta tecnologia.

Áreas afetadas

NASA

Assessores de Trump querem tirar da agência a função de estudar a Terra em favor da exploração espacial

Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr
Imagem feita pela Nasa
Imagem feita pela Nasa

PROTEÇÃO?

Scott Pruitt, indicado para Agência de Proteção do Ambiente, já processou o órgão por limitações impostas à indústria petrolífera. A agência pode perder força e deixar certas regulações a cargo dos Estados

Spencer Platt-7.dez.2016/Getty Images/AFP
Scott Pruitt chega a Trump Tower, em 7 de dezembro, para encontro com Donald Trump
Scott Pruitt chega a Trump Tower, em 7 de dezembro, para encontro com Donald Trump

PETRÓLEO

Rex Tillerson, executivo da petroleira ExxonMobil, foi indicado para o posto de secretário de Estado, o que dá mais sinais de que o governo Trump não deve se esforçar para promover fontes de energia limpa

Daniel Kramer – 21.abr.2015/Reuters
Rex Tillerson, CEO da ExxonMobil
Rex Tillerson, CEO da ExxonMobil

Tsunami meteorológico? Entenda fenômeno que assustou Santa Catarina (UOL Notícias)

Fernando Cymbaluk*
Do UOL, em São Paulo 19/10/2016, 12h44 

VIDEO: http://tv.uol/15G3x

 

Uma onda que atingiu duas praias no sul de Santa Catarina arrastou carros e assustou os banhistas em um dia de calor e fortes ventos. O fenômeno foi provocado por uma grande tempestade no mar que impulsionou a onda “gigante”. O evento, que é raro e perigoso, tem nome: tsunami meteorológico.

Sim, podemos dizer que ocorrem tsunamis no Brasil. Comuns no leste e sudeste da Ásia, tsunamis são ondas que avançam na costa provocando danos (em japonês, “tsu” quer dizer porto, e “nami” significa onda).

Os tsunamis que já devastaram grandes áreas de países como o Japão são provocados por abalos sísmicos em um ponto do oceano. Eles são muito mais drásticos do que o caso brasileiro, com ondas bem maiores, que alcançam diversas praias após irradiarem do epicentro do tremor.

Já o tsunami meteorológico, como o nome diz, é provocado por eventos meteorológicos (da atmosfera) e ocorre mais localmente. É mais propício na primavera e no verão, época de tempestades.

Apesar de raro, há registros de sua ocorrência em locais como Cabo Frio (RJ) e Florianópolis (SC). Uma onda mais forte atingindo a praia é algo perigoso para banhistas e pessoas que morem nas costas. Além disso, tempestades no mar também trazem riscos devido aos ventos, raios e trovões.

Carros arrastados por onda em Balneário Rincão (SC). Ao fundo, nuvem de tempestade que provoca tsunami meteorógico

Como se forma

Um tsunami meteorológico ocorre quando um conjunto de cúmulo-nimbo, a nuvem que provoca as tempestades, se propaga em paralelo sobre o oceano. Nesse cenário, uma grande onda pode se formar caso as ondas do mar também estejam alinhadas a essas nuvens.

“Ocorre uma ressonância entre a onda de pressão [nuvem] e a onda do mar, que se aproxima da costa, cresce em amplitude e pode inundar a região costeira”, explica Renato Ramos da Silva, professor de física da atmosfera da UFSC (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina).

Em uma tempestade, o ar sobe, formando uma zona de baixa pressão atmosférica. Tal mudança nas condições atmosféricas ocorre de forma brusca. Essa formação é chamada de linha de instabilidade. Seu rápido deslocamento acoplado às ondas do mar faz com que a onda ganhe tamanho.

O nome tsunami meteorológico, contudo, não é consenso entre os meteorologistas. Para José Carlos Figueiredo, meteorologista da Unesp, a grande onda que se verificou em SC é comum no Nordeste, sem contudo ser chamada de tsunami.

“Em algumas praias, há ondas que invadem a areia. O avanço pode ser provocado por tempestades naturais no mar”, diz Figueiredo. Ele lembra ainda que ciclones que ocorrem no Sul do Brasil provocam ressacas em praias de SP e RJ. Nesses episódios, fortes ondas também invadem a costa.

Para o meteorologista, outro fenômeno, conhecido como “downburst”, pode explicar para a grande onda que atingiu as praias catarinenses. Nesse tipo de evento, a chuva, “em vez de precipitar normal e pausadamente, precipita tudo de uma vez”, explica. A grande chuva poderia, assim, ter levado a formação de uma onda maior.

Difícil de prever

Tsunamis meteorológicos não são nada fáceis de serem previstos. Isso porque sua ocorrência é muito localizada, dependendo da formação de tempestades em um ponto do oceano e das condições do mar um lugar específico.

Segundo Silva, para prever o fenômeno a tempo de avisar a população seria necessária “uma boa previsão meteorológica junto de um modelo oceânico de previsão de ondas”.

* Com colaboração de Gabriel Francisco Ribeiro

Relembre tornado que atingiu SC

27.abr.2015 – A presidente Dilma Rousseff sobrevoa o município de Xanxerê, em Santa Catarina, e observa os estragos provocados pelo tornado que devastou a cidade do interior catarinense (situada a 551 km de Florianópolis), na última segunda-feira (20). De acordo com o último balanço da Defesa Civil, 4.275 pessoas estão desalojadas e há 539 desabrigadas em Xanxerê, por conta dos ventos que ultrapassaram a velocidade de 250 km/h  VEJA MAIS > Imagem: Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR

Estudo mostra que indústria e psiquiatria criaram doenças e remédios que não curam (Carta Campinas)

By Carta Campinas / sexta-feira, 01 jul 2016 10:38 AM

robert whitaker fotografia de videoUma série de reportagens e livros publicados ao longo de 25 anos pelo jornalista Robert Whitaker (foto), especialista em questões de ciência e medicina, abriu uma crise na prática médica da psiquiatria e na solução mágica de curar os transtornos mentais com medicação.

O jornalista, do The Boston Globe, o mesmo jornal das série de reportagens que gerou o filme Spotlight, levantou dados alarmantes sobre a indústria farmacêutica das doenças mentais e sua incapacidade de curar.  “Em 1955, havia 355.000 pessoas em hospitais com um diagnóstico psiquiátrico nos Estados Unidos; em 1987, 1,25 milhão de pessoas no país recebia aposentadoria por invalidez por causa de alguma doença mental; em 2007, eram 4 milhões. No ano passado, 5 milhões.

Para ele, associações médicas e a indústria estão criando pacientes e mercado para seus remédios. “Se olharmos do ponto de vista comercial, o êxito desse setor é extraordinário. Temos pílulas para a felicidade, para a ansiedade, para que seu filho vá melhor na escola. O transtorno por déficit de atenção e hiperatividade é uma fantasia. É algo que não existia antes dos anos noventa”, diz.

Mas essa não é uma crítica simplificada ou econômica, mas bem mais fundamentada durante mais de duas décadas.  “O que estamos fazendo de errado?”, questionam os estudos de Whitaker que também levantou informações de que pacientes de esquizofrenia evoluem melhor em países em que são menos medicados. Outro dado importante foi o estudo da Escola de Medicina de Harvard, que em 1994, mostrou que a evolução de pacientes com esquizofrenia, que foram medicados, pioraram em relação aos anos 70, quando a medicação não era dominante.

A batalha de Whitaker contra os comprimidos como solução tem ganhado apoio. Importantes escolas de medicina o convidam a explicar seus trabalhos e o debate está aberto nos Estados Unidos. “A psiquiatria está entrando em um novo período de crise no país, porque a história que nos contaram desde os anos 80 caiu por terra. A história falsa nos Estados Unidos e em parte do mundo desenvolvido é que a causa da esquizofrenia e da depressão seria biológica. Foi dito que esses distúrbios se deviam a desequilíbrios químicos no cérebro: na esquizofrenia, por excesso de dopamina; na depressão, por falta de serotonina. E nos disseram que havia medicamentos que resolviam o problema, assim como a insulina faz pelos diabéticos”, afirmou em entrevista ao jornal El Pais.

Para ele, os psiquiatras sempre tiveram um complexo de inferioridade. “O restante dos médicos costumava enxergá-los como se não fossem médicos autênticos. Nos anos 70, quando faziam seus diagnósticos baseando-se em ideias freudianas, eram muito criticados. E como poderiam reconstruir sua imagem diante do público? Vestiram suas roupas brancas, o que lhes dava autoridade. E começaram a se chamar a si mesmos de psicofarmacólogos quando passaram a prescrever medicamentos. A imagem deles melhorou. O poder deles aumentou. Nos anos 80, começaram a fazer propaganda desse modelo, e nos noventa, a profissão já não prestava atenção a seus próprios estudos científicos. Eles acreditavam em sua própria propaganda”, relata.

Para Whitaker, houve uma união do útil ao agradável.  Uma história que melhorou a imagem pública da psiquiatria e ajudou a vender medicamentos. No final dos anos oitenta, o comércio desses fármacos movimentava  US$ 800 milhões por ano. Vinte anos mais tarde, já eram US$ 40 bilhões. “Se estudarmos a literatura científica, observamos que já estamos utilizando esses remédios há 50 anos. Em geral, o que eles fazem é aumentar a cronicidade desses transtornos”, afirma de forma categórica.

Essa mensagem, segundo o próprio Whitaker, pode ser perigosa, mas ele não traz conselhos médicos nos estudos (Anatomy of an Epidemic ), não é para casos individuais. “Bom, se a medicação funciona, fantástico. Há pessoas para quem isso funciona. Além disso, o cérebro se adapta aos comprimidos, o que significa que retirá-los pode ter efeitos graves. O que falamos no livro é sobre o resultado de maneira geral. É para que a sociedade se pergunte: nós organizamos o atendimento psiquiátrico em torno de uma história cientificamente correta ou não?”, diz.

Whitaker foi muito criticado, apesar de seu livro contar com muitas evidências e ter recebido prêmios. Mas a obra desafiou os critérios da Associação Norte-Americana de Psiquiatria (APA) e os interesses da indústria farmacêutica. Mas desde 2010 novos estudos confirmaram suas pesquisas. Entre eles, os trabalhos dos psiquiatras Martin Harrow e Lex Wunderink e o fato de a prestigiada revista científica British Journal of Psychiatry já assumir que é preciso repensar o uso de medicamentos. “Os comprimidos podem servir para esconder o mal-estar, para esconder a angústia. Mas não são curativos, não produzem um estado de felicidade”, diz. Veja texto completo. Ou Aqui

Veja vídeo com Robert Whitaker, pena que ainda não está legendado em português.

 

Why scientists are losing the fight to communicate science to the public (The Guardian)

Richard P Grant

Scientists and science communicators are engaged in a constant battle with ignorance. But that’s an approach doomed to failure

Syringe and needle.

Be quiet. It’s good for you. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

video did the rounds a couple of years ago, of some self-styled “skeptic” disagreeing – robustly, shall we say – with an anti-vaxxer. The speaker was roundly cheered by everyone sharing the video – he sure put that idiot in their place!

Scientists love to argue. Cutting through bullshit and getting to the truth of the matter is pretty much the job description. So it’s not really surprising scientists and science supporters frequently take on those who dabble in homeopathy, or deny anthropogenic climate change, or who oppose vaccinations or genetically modified food.

It makes sense. You’ve got a population that is – on the whole – not scientifically literate, and you want to persuade them that they should be doing a and b (but not c) so that they/you/their children can have a better life.

Brian Cox was at it last week, performing a “smackdown” on a climate change denier on the ABC’s Q&A discussion program. He brought graphs! Knockout blow.

And yet … it leaves me cold. Is this really what science communication is about? Is this informing, changing minds, winning people over to a better, brighter future?

I doubt it somehow.

There are a couple of things here. And I don’t think it’s as simple as people rejecting science.

First, people don’t like being told what to do. This is part of what Michael Gove was driving at when he said people had had enough of experts. We rely on doctors and nurses to make us better, and on financial planners to help us invest. We expect scientists to research new cures for disease, or simply to find out how things work. We expect the government to try to do the best for most of the people most of the time, and weather forecasters to at least tell us what today was like even if they struggle with tomorrow.

But when these experts tell us how to live our lives – or even worse, what to think – something rebels. Especially when there is even the merest whiff of controversy or uncertainty. Back in your box, we say, and stick to what you’re good at.

We saw it in the recent referendum, we saw it when Dame Sally Davies said wine makes her think of breast cancer, and we saw it back in the late 1990s when the government of the time told people – who honestly, really wanted to do the best for their children – to shut up, stop asking questions and take the damn triple vaccine.

Which brings us to the second thing.

On the whole, I don’t think people who object to vaccines or GMOs are at heart anti-science. Some are, for sure, and these are the dangerous ones. But most people simply want to know that someone is listening, that someone is taking their worries seriously; that someone cares for them.

It’s more about who we are and our relationships than about what is right or true.

This is why, when you bring data to a TV show, you run the risk of appearing supercilious and judgemental. Even – especially – if you’re actually right.

People want to feel wanted and loved. That there is someone who will listen to them. To feel part of a family.

The physicist Sabine Hossenfelder gets this. Between contracts one time, she set up a “talk to a physicist” service. Fifty dollars gets you 20 minutes with a quantum physicist … who will listen to whatever crazy idea you have, and help you understand a little more about the world.

How many science communicators do you know who will take the time to listen to their audience? Who are willing to step outside their cosy little bubble and make an effort to reach people where they are, where they are confused and hurting; where they need?

Atul Gawande says scientists should assert “the true facts of good science” and expose the “bad science tactics that are being used to mislead people”. But that’s only part of the story, and is closing the barn door too late.

Because the charlatans have already recognised the need, and have built the communities that people crave. Tellingly, Gawande refers to the ‘scientific community’; and he’s absolutely right, there. Most science communication isn’t about persuading people; it’s self-affirmation for those already on the inside. Look at us, it says, aren’t we clever? We are exclusive, we are a gang, we are family.

That’s not communication. It’s not changing minds and it’s certainly not winning hearts and minds.

It’s tribalism.

The last great unknown? The impact of academic conferences (LSE Blog)

August 16th, 2016

What do academic conferences contribute? How do academic conferences make a difference both in the lives of academics and wider society? Donald J Nicolson looks at a few examples of conferences that have been able to make a demonstrable impact and argues it is to the benefit of the academy to learn more about how to get the most out of these time-consuming events.

Over the course of two years in the mid-1960s, two academic conferences in strikingly different fields had a great impact on academic research that is still felt today to varying degrees:

  1. In 1964, the 18th World Medical Association General Assembly held in Helsinki devised a set of ethical principles to guide medical research involving human subjects, now the basis for the ethical treatment of human subjects in medical research.
  2. In 1966 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore an international symposium entitled “The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man” laid the groundwork for the theory of ‘Post-Structuralism’ and in particular launched the career of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida.

Each conference had an impact at the time, and half a century later both are still remembered. Is this true of academic conferences today or are these 1960 examples outliers?

My own reading is that the academic conference has to date largely evaded the empirical gaze. Attending and presenting at conferences is something nearly all academics do. More so, they expend great time and effort justifying attendance, applying to present and looking for funding to travel, let alone devising their presentations. So is it worth this effort or do conferences merely generate noise? How are conferences useful?

coffee-break-1177540_1280Image credit: Cozendo Public Domain via Pixabay

In my book I reflect on how as a former academic I attended over 20 conferences, sat in on hundreds of presentations and debates, presented over 20 times myself, heard countless people ask “questions”, and a similar number of replies. My hope was that at least some conferences go beyond mere noise, and are useful to the audience/stakeholders/the wider environment by having an impact. I followed up an immediate hunch, and then further examples arose from the interviews I conducted. This blog looks at a few of those examples. They are not meant to be comprehensive of the academic conference experience but are meant to provoke discussion on the impact of conferences.

Debate on Tangible Issues: The 11th Annual Cochrane Colloquium

In October 2003 the 11th Annual Cochrane Colloquium was held in Barcelona. This annual meeting attracts important figures from medicine and Health Services Research, who discuss issues around the conduct and findings from systematic reviews, a method for evidence synthesis. At the 2003 Colloquium there was a debate around conflicts of interests within the Cochrane Collaboration and how the Collaboration should respond to them. Conflicts of interest are a common problem in medical research when for example, a pharmaceutical company funds researchers to examine how well its new drug works compared with a drug already available on the market. The charge is that because the company wants its new drug to work better than another, it may have a surreptitious (or less implicit) effect on how the research was carried out, leading to a biased outcome in favour of their drug. A common example is where pharmaceutical companies’ trials have gone unpublished, when the new drug was found not to have a beneficial outcome.

Some debates at conferences are theoretical, discussing a concept at an abstract level. The conflicts debate was the antithesis, having potentially serious ramifications for the Collaboration. For example, Ray Moynihan noted one of the concerns before the debate was that some Cochrane review groups might go out of business if they lost funding from pharmaceutical companies (Moynihan, R., 2003. Cochrane at crossroads over drug company sponsorship. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 327(7420), p.924.).

When a conference has a memorable presentation or stages an important debate/discussion, like the 2003 Colloquium, I think that it goes beyond merely generating noise and has impact. The Conflicts debate had impact in bucket loads. It challenged how the Collaboration received funding, and had potentially serious consequences for the employment of people.

Bringing Decision-makers to the Table: The 29th Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives

A Professor of Midwifery Research told me about another conference, the 29th Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives in June 2011 where there was a push to make global maternity care a worldwide issue. The conference received support from the Government which enabled the Government to recognise the importance of the agenda around maternity care and in particular that it was vital to tackle health inequalities. The crucial aspect was that politicians spoke, which raised the issue to the political agenda and attracted media attention, enabling the possibility of change.

Impact on personal development

Based on interviewing over 30 people for my book, I found that the search for ‘conference impact’ need not rest on a paradigm-defining plinth. For the period of time of the conference, the venue provides not just a place to work, but also a place to eat, drink and sleep; be that a hotel or University campus. Conferences are therefore not just workplaces for attendees; but are places where people ‘are being’, and as such, this can impact on their welfare. Being at a conference can present the individual a variety of opportunities, including networking, meeting overseas colleagues in person, or acting as a jobs fair. When respondents talked about conferences having an impact, they tended to speak about the personal rather than the disciplinary impact, e.g. how a particular conference helped their career development, or inspired their work.

The cost and value of ‘impact’ for conferences

An important point that my work raises is querying the usefulness of the question of ‘Impact’ for all conferences. My initial wondering about impact probably reflects my background in Health Services Research, where questions of effectiveness and impact abide. However, such a question is foreign to the Humanities, and so the notion of a presentation generating noise was nonsensical. For example, a Professor of the Humanities felt all talks were important and valuable. The ‘noise hypothesis’ is therefore perhaps relevant solely to quantitative-based presentations.

It might be considered that the notion of conferences having an impact is a reflection of neoliberal thinking where everything has a cost and a value. There was a suggestion that conferences value rests in them being able to highlight new trends and directions for research, framing the issues and alternatives for discussion, and holding sway over the key people at the centre of the field (Parker, M. and Weik, E., 2014. Free spirits? The academic on the aeroplane. Management Learning, 45(2), pp.167-181). Conferences might be in a good position to have such impact by presenting an infrastructure for a discipline to meet, disseminate and discuss. ‘Value’ need not imply the need for a cost-benefit analysis, but it is important to seek to understand this better as conferences are not held without purpose.

Perhaps it is better to ask how conferences make a difference. The conflict of interests debate at the Cochrane Colloquium was an example where a difference began to be made. By holding the debate, the Collaboration continued the process whereby it eventually rejected industry funding.

The academic conference as a subject of research might have a place in the evolving research discipline of meta-research, which aims to evaluate and improve research practices (Ioannidis JP, Fanelli D, Dunne DD, Goodman SN. Meta-research: evaluation and improvement of research methods and practices. PLoS Biol. 2015 Oct 2;13(10):e1002264.). Such an introspective turn, it might be hoped, would be for the benefit of the academy.

Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Impact blog, nor of the London School of Economics. Please review our Comments Policy if you have any concerns on posting a comment below.

About the Author

Dr. Donald J Nicolson worked in academic research for 13 years, and was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. He now works as a freelance writer, and is writing a book for publication about academic conferences. He holds a Ph.D. in Health Services Research from the University of Leeds. He can be found digitally @the_mopster, retweeting things that amuse him, venting his anger at the political environment, and making random observations on the absurdity of life. He has published several travel articles in a national newspaper http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/travel.

Open Science: o futuro da ciência e o desastre de Mariana (Pesquisa Fapesp)

12.08.2016

O Grupo Independente para Análise do Impacto Ambiental (Giaia) realiza expedições com o objetivo de coletar e analisar amostras da lama com rejeitos de mineração que atingiu o rio Doce após o rompimento da barragem da Samarco, em novembro de 2015, e estimula não cientistas a contribuírem com amostras. Apostando no conceito de ciência aberta, os resultados das viagens são divulgados em tempo real nas redes sociais e no site da organização, permitindo que a população acompanhe o avanço das análises. No vídeo, pesquisadores comentam como o grupo surgiu e algumas consequências do desastre.

Provas #8.754.392.312 e #8.754.392.313 de que o Brasil Odeia Ciência (Meio Bit)

Postado Por  em 12 08 2016

365156

O brasileiro tem um problema sério com ciência. Ele acha que não precisamos dela. Temos basicamente zero programas sobre ciência na TV aberta, versus centenas de horas semanais de programas religiosos. Todo fim de ano canais abrem espaço para videntes e suas previsões para o ano novo, apenas para misteriosamente esquecer de todas as previsões erradas feitas pelas mesmas pessoas no ano anterior.

O Fantástico dedica 95% do tempo de uma reportagem sobre uma pirâmide idiota flutuando por causa de uns imãs, e 5% com cientistas explicando o truque óbvio. Nos comentários do MeioBit? Vários DEFENDENDO a matéria.

Um tempo atrás o Romário apresentou um Projeto de Lei para desburocratizar a importação de material científico como reagentes, que ficam tanto tempo na aduana que acabam estragando. Teve gente que escreveu cartas pra jornal reclamando, dizendo que não se deve investir em ciência, “e sim em saúde e educação”. No final o projeto foi arquivado.

Estatisticamente as chances de achar um astrólogo em um programa desses de entrevistas tipo Fátima são imensas, tanto quanto são ínfimas as de achar um cientista, sendo que o cientista sempre terá um pastor ou pai de santo como “contraponto”.

No Brasil a profissão de BENZEDEIRA é reconhecida pelo governo e tratada como “patrimônio cultural”. Sendo que a diferença entre benzedeiras e charlatões é que elas rezam antes de cobrar.  Agora, como cereja do bolo de bosta, temos isto:

ufeiro

Isso mesmo. Segundo o G1 o excelentíssimo sr deputado Edmir Chedid, do DEM apresentou uma moção propondo o reconhecimento da profissão de ufeiro, que iria garantir direitos aos ufeiros. Ele diz que

reconhecer a atividade científica que busca entender esses fenômenos, possibilitando financiamentos e linhas de pesquisa destinadas a esse fim junto à Universidades e outras instituições públicas ou privadas”.

Ancient-aliens-guy

Não é surpresa que o Google desconheça projetos do deputado relacionados com ciência de verdade. Ele pelo visto passa boa parte do tempo assistindo History Channel, mas os programas errados. E não, não estou exagerado. Ainda o Deputado:

“os contatos ufológicos acontecem desde os mais remotos tempos da humanidade”. “Há muito tempo atrás, acreditavam que os tais seres ou mesmo suas manifestações eram de origem quase divina, onde estes mesmo seres eram os nossos ‘salvadores’, nossos mediadores entre a ignorância e a sabedoria, para viver uma vida digna e feliz.”

Ele quer gastar dinheiro público com “pesquisadores” dessa bobagem que é basicamente uma seita, e preenche todos os requisitos de pseudociência: é quase 100% baseado em informação anedótica, não é reproduzível, não traz justificativas das hipóteses, etc, etc, etc.

Enquanto isso a FAPESP — Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo teve reduzidos em R$ 17 milhões seus repasses para Mestrados e Doutorados, nos últimos 4 anos. Assim não sobra nem pros ufeiros, deputado. O que o senhor tem feito para ajudar a FAPESP? É, eu imaginava.

Acha que acabou? Temos aquele “fenômeno”, aquele grupo picareta chamado Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral, que diz “controlar o tempo” e abusam da credulidade dos retardados, incluindo aí a Prefeitura do Rio que por anos contratou os caras para garantir bom tempo no Réveillon. A taxa de acerto deles? Eu diria que no máximo 50%. A mesma da minha Pedra Controladora do Clima que tenho aqui na minha mesa.

Pior: como todo “místico” no Brasil essa gente é incensada pela mídia, até o Marcelo Tas, que eu julgava inteligente enche a bola dos caras.

Estamos em 2016, imagina-se que gente prometendo controlar o clima através de magia seria no mínimo alvo de risada, certo? Errado. ALGUÉM pagou pra esses espertos irem na Olimpíada de Londres, onde juraram que foram os responsáveis pela pouca chuva na Abertura, e tinham até credencial para um evento com a Dilma. E agora temos… isto:

cacique

Isso mesmo. O tempo está uma bosta, mas eles não falharam. Na matéria do Globo o porta-voz da Fundação diz que o foco deles era garantir o tempo bom na abertura da Olimpíada. Então tá.

Que o clima já estivesse previsto por ciência de verdade, é apenas um detalhe.

O mais triste disso tudo é que todo mundo que promove divulga e protege pseudociência e misticismo faz uso dos benefícios da ciência que diz não “acreditar”. Se ciência é tão ruim assim, incluindo a malvada “alopatia” que tal parar de vacinar suas crianças, rasgar o cartão do pediatra, jogar fora a Insulina e o Isordil e se tratar com chazinhos e homeopatia? GPS? Coisa do capeta, use uma varinha de radbomancia para se achar. Tem uma plantação? Contrate a Cacique Cobra Coral, e não acesse mais as previsões do INPE.

A reserva genética da Humanidade agradecerá.

‘Chemtrails’ not real, say atmospheric science experts (Science Daily)

Date:
August 12, 2016
Source:
Carnegie Institution for Science
Summary:
Well-understood physical and chemical processes can easily explain the alleged evidence of a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program, commonly referred to as ‘chemtrails’ or ‘covert geoengineering.’ A survey of the world’s leading atmospheric scientists categorically rejects the existence of a secret spraying program.

This is a condensation trail, or contrail, left behind an aircraft. Credit: Courtesy of Mick West

Well-understood physical and chemical processes can easily explain the alleged evidence of a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program, commonly referred to as “chemtrails” or “covert geoengineering,” concludes a new study from Carnegie Science, University of California Irvine, and the nonprofit organization Near Zero.

Some groups and individuals erroneously believe that the long-lasting condensation trails, or contrails, left behind aircraft are evidence of a secret large-scale spraying program. They call these imagined features “chemtrails.” Adherents of this conspiracy theory sometimes attribute this alleged spraying to the government and sometimes to industry.

The authors of this study, including Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira, conducted a survey of the world’s leading atmospheric scientists, who categorically rejected the existence of a secret spraying program. The team’s findings, published by Environmental Research Letters, are based on a survey of two groups of experts: atmospheric chemists who specialize in condensation trails and geochemists working on atmospheric deposition of dust and pollution.

The survey results show that 76 of the 77 participating scientists said they had not encountered evidence of a secret spraying program, and agree that the alleged evidence cited by the individuals who believe that atmospheric spraying is occurring could be explained through other factors, such as typical airplane contrail formation and poor data sampling.

The research team undertook their study in response to the large number of people who claim to believe in a secret spraying program. In a 2011 international survey, nearly 17 percent of respondents said they believed the existence of a secret large-scale atmospheric spraying program to be true or partly true. And in recent years a number of websites have arisen claiming to show evidence of widespread secret chemical spraying, which they say is linked to negative impacts on human health and the environment.

“We wanted to establish a scientific record on the topic of secret atmospheric spraying programs for the benefit of those in the public who haven’t made up their minds,” said Steven Davis of UC Irvine. “The experts we surveyed resoundingly rejected contrail photographs and test results as evidence of a large-scale atmospheric conspiracy.”

The research team says they do not hope to sway those already convinced that there is a secret spraying program — as these individuals usually only reject counter-evidence as further proof of their theories — but rather to establish a source of objective science that can inform public discourse.

“Despite the persistence of erroneous theories about atmospheric chemical spraying programs, until now there were no peer-reviewed academic studies showing that what some people think are ‘chemtrails’ are just ordinary contrails, which are becoming more abundant as air travel expands. Also, it is possible that climate change is causing contrails to persist for longer periods than they used to.” Caldeira said. “I felt it was important to definitively show what real experts in contrails and aerosols think. We might not convince die-hard believers that their beloved secret spraying program is just a paranoid fantasy, but hopefully their friends will accept the facts.”


Journal Reference:

  1. Christine Shearer, Mick West, Ken Caldeira, Steven J Davis. Quantifying expert consensus against the existence of a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying programEnvironmental Research Letters, 2016; 11 (8): 084011 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084011

Sequestro de CO2 (Pesquisa Fapesp)

Reunimos o que já publicamos sobre o processo de captura de dióxido de carbono da atmosfera, que se dá sobretudo em florestas e oceanos e ajuda a manter equilibrados os níveis de CO2 na atmosfera

Edição Online 13:10 27 de junho de 2016

 

mini Florestas secundárias podem contribuir para mitigar as mudanças climáticas
Se protegido adequadamente, esse tipo de vegetação neutralizaria as emissões da América Latina e do Caribe acumuladas entre 1993 e 2014 |Junho/2016|
MAR_Abre-Boletim Fundo do mar teve estoque de carbono
Circulação de água no Oceano Atlântico pode explicar baixos níveis de CO2 atmosférico no Último Máximo Glacial |Junho/2016|
Árvores da Amazônia geram novas folhas mesmo durante a seca
Estocagem de água no solo no período de chuvas é crucial nesse processo, segundo estudo publicado na revista Science |Fevereiro/2016|
Extinção de animais pode agravar efeito das mudanças climáticas
Ausência de espécies frugívoras de grande porte pode interferir no processo de sequestro de CO2 da atmosfera |Dezembro/2015|
Florestas em transformação
Trepadeiras estão remodelando a Amazônia, e os bambus, a mata atlântica |Outubro/2014|
068-069_Algas_222 Microalgas transformadas
Membrana que filtra meio de cultura permite selecionar biomassa com proteínas, ácidos graxos ou carboidratos |Agosto/2014|
022-027_Entrevista_217 Entrevista: Luciana Vanni Gatti
Química explica estudo sobre o balanço de carbono na Amazônia |Março/2014|
036-041_Manguezais_216 Rede de proteção
Manguezais ganham importância diante de alterações no clima |Fevereiro/2014|
brown_river_small Emissão desequilibrada
Floresta amazônica pode estar enviando mais CO2 à atmosfera durante período de seca |Fevereiro/2014|
030-033_cana_159 Balanço sustentável
Estudo da Embrapa atualiza as vantagens do etanol no combate aos gases causadores do efeito estufa |Maio/2009|
chuva As poderosas águas dos rios
Turbinadas pelo aquecimento global, variações no regime de chuvas na bacia do Prata podem tumultuar a circulação marinha no Sul e Sudeste |Janeiro/2008|
Castanheira da amazônia Abrindo o guarda-chuva verde
As cidades precisam de mais árvores, mas há prós e contras em plantar mais exemplares no meio urbano |Outubro/2007|
art3269img1 Tecnologia contra o aquecimento global
Brasil sai na frente com etanol, biodiesel e plantio direto |Junho/2007|
art3179img1 O dia depois de amanhã
Pesquisadores unem-se para esmiuçar os efeitos do aquecimento global no Brasil|Março/2007|
botanica O jatobá contra a poluição
Árvores tropicais podem ser opção para limpar atmosfera caso o efeito estufa aumente|Outubro/2002|
Castanheira da amazônia Impactos irreversíveis do desmatamento
Mata recuperada absorve menos gás carbônico do que até agora se pensava |Abril/2000|

Quando a tecnociência vê um pixel mas ignora a paisagem. A agricultura convencional mata o solo. Entrevista especial com Antonio Donato Nobre (Unisinos)

Segunda, 16 de maio de 2016

“Mais importante do que ser multidisciplinar é ser não-disciplinar, isto é, integrar e dissolver as ‘disciplinas’ em um saber amplo e articulado, sem fronteiras artificiais e domínios de egos”, afirma o cientista do CCST/Inpe

O conhecimento científico não pode cegar a complexa relação entre os inúmeros ecossistemas presentes no planeta. “Tal abordagem gera soluções autistas que não se comunicam, tumores exuberantes cuja expansão danifica tudo que está em volta. Assim, a tecnociência olha o mundo com um microscópio grudado em seus olhos, vê pixel, mas ignora a paisagem”, afirma Antonio Donato Nobre, cientista do Centro de Ciência do Sistema Terrestre do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – CCST/Inpe.

“A maior parte da agricultura tecnificada adotada pelo agronegócio é pobre em relação à complexidade natural. Ela elimina de saída a capacidade dos organismos manejados de interferir beneficamente no ambiente, introduzindo desequilíbrios e produzindo danos em muitos níveis”, analisa, em entrevista concedida por e-mail à IHU On-Line.

Para Nobre, a saída não é abandonar a ciência e a tecnologia produtiva de alimentos, mas sim associá-las e integrá-las a sistemas complexos de vidas em ecossistemas do Planeta. É entender, por exemplo, que a criação de áreas de plantio e produção agropecuária impactarão na chamada “equação do clima”. “É preciso remover os microscópios dos olhos, olhar o conjunto, perceber as conexões e, assim, aplicar o conhecimento de forma sábia e benéfica”, aponta.

Antonio Donato Nobre é cientista do Centro de Ciência do Sistema Terrestre do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – CCST/Inpe, autor do relatório O Futuro Climático da Amazônia, lançado no final de 2014.

Tem atuado na divulgação e popularização da ciência, em temas como a Bomba biótica de umidade e sua importância para a valorização das grandes florestas, e os Rios Aéreos de vapor, que transferem umidade da Amazônia para as regiões produtivas do Brasil.

Foi relator nos estudos sobre o Código Florestal promovidos pela Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência – SBPC e Academia Brasileira de Ciências. Possui graduação em Agronomia pela Universidade de São Paulo, mestrado em Biologia Tropical (Ecologia) pelo Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia e é PhD em Earth System Sciences (Biogeochemistry) pela University of New Hampshire.

Atualmente é pesquisador titular do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia e pesquisador Visitante no Centro de Ciência do Sistema Terrestre, do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais.

Confira a entrevista.

IHU On-Line – Quais os impactos da produção agrícola nas mudanças climáticas? Quais os riscos que o modelo do agronegócio (baseado nas grandes propriedades e produção em larga escala de uma só cultura por vez) representa?

Antonio Donato Nobre – A ocupação desordenada das paisagens produz pesados impactos no funcionamento do sistema de suporte à vida na Terra. A expansão das atividades agrícolas — quase sempre associada à devastação das florestas que têm maior importância na regulação climática — tem consequências que se fazem sentir cada vez mais, e serão devastadoras se não mudarmos a prática da agricultura.

A natureza, ao longo de bilhões de anos, evoluiu um sofisticadíssimo sistema vivo de condicionamento do conforto ambiental. Biodiversidade é o outro nome para competência tecnológica na regulação climática. A maior parte da agricultura tecnificada adotada pelo agronegócio é pobre em relação à complexidade natural. Ela elimina de saída a capacidade dos organismos manejados de interferir beneficamente no ambiente, introduzindo desequilíbrios e produzindo danos em muitos níveis.

IHU On-Line – Como aliar agricultura e pecuária à preservação de florestas e outros ecossistemas? Como o novo Código Florestal  brasileiro se insere nesse contexto?

Antonio Donato Nobre – Extensa literatura científica mostra muitos caminhos para unir com vantagens agricultura, criação de animais e a preservação das florestas e de outros importantes ecossistemas. Esse conhecimento disponível assevera não haver conflito legítimo entre proteção dos ecossistemas e produção agrícola. Muito ao contrário, a melhor ciência demonstra a dependência umbilical da agricultura aos serviços ambientais providos pelos ecossistemas nativos.

Em 2012, contrariando a vontade da sociedade, o congresso revogou o código florestal de 1965. A introdução de uma nova lei florestal lasciva e juridicamente confusa já está produzindo efeitos danosos, como aumentos intoleráveis no desmatamento e a eliminação da exigência, ou o estímulo à procrastinação, no que se refere à recuperação de áreas degradadas. Mas a proteção e recuperação de florestas tem direto impacto sobre o regime de chuvas.

Incrível, portanto, que a agricultura, atividade que primeiro sofrerá com o clima inóspito que já bate às portas do Brasil, tenha sido justamente aquela que destruiu e continua destruindo os ecossistemas produtores de clima amigo. Enquanto estiver em vigor essa irresponsável e inconstitucional nova lei florestal, a degradação ambiental somente vai piorar.

IHU On-Line – De que forma o conhecimento mais detalhado sobre as formas de vida, e a relação entre elas, em florestas, como a amazônica, pode inspirar formas mais eficientes de produção de alimentos e, ao mesmo tempo, minimizar impactos ambientais?

Antonio Donato Nobre – A biomimética  é uma nova área da tecnologia que copia e adapta soluções engenhosas encontradas pelos organismos para resolver desafios existenciais. Janine Benyus, a pioneira popularizadora desse saber, antes ignorado, costuma dizer que os designs encontrados na natureza são resultados de 3,8 bilhões de anos de evolução tecnológica. Durante esse tempo, somente subsistiram soluções efetivas e eficazes, que de saída determinaram a superioridade da tecnologia natural.

Ora, a agricultura precisa redescobrir a potência sustentável e produtiva que é o manejo inteligente de agroecossistemas inspirados nos ecossistemas naturais, ao invés de se divorciar deste vasto campo de conhecimento e soluções, como fez com seus agrossistemas empobrecidos, envenenados e que exploram organismos geneticamente aberrantes.

IHU On-Line – Qual o papel do solo na “composição da equação do clima” no planeta? Em que medida o desequilíbrio do solo pode influenciar nas mudanças climáticas?

Antonio Donato Nobre – Microrganismos e plantas têm incrível capacidade para adaptar-se ao substrato, seja solo, sedimento ou mesmo rocha. Essa adaptação gera simultaneamente uma formação e condicionamento do substrato, o que o torna fértil para a vida vicejar ali. O metabolismo dos ecossistemas, incluindo sua relação com o substrato, tem íntima relação com os ciclos globais de elementos químicos. A composição e funcionamento da atmosfera depende, para sua estabilidade dinâmica, portanto, para o conforto e favorecimento da própria vida, do funcionamento ótimo dos ecossistemas naturais.

Na equação do clima, os ecossistemas são os órgãos indispensáveis que geram a homeostase  ou equilíbrio planetário. A agricultura convencional extermina aquela vida que tem capacidade regulatória, mata o solo, fator chave para sua própria sustentação, e introduz de forma reducionista e irresponsável nutrientes hipersolúveis, substâncias tóxicas desconhecidas da natureza e organismos que podem ser chamados de Frankensteins genéticos.

Todos estes insumos tornam as monoculturas do agronegócio sem qualquer função reguladora para o clima, e muito pior, devido à pesada emissão de gases-estufa e perturbações as mais variadas nos ciclos globais de nutrientes, a agricultura tecnificada é extremamente prejudicial para a estabilidade climática.

IHU On-Line – Desde a perspectiva do antropoceno , como avalia a relação do ser humano com as demais formas de vida do planeta hoje? Qual o papel da tecnologia e da ciência nessa relação?

Antonio Donato Nobre – Esta nova era foi batizada de antropoceno porque os seres humanos tornaram-se capazes de alterações massivas na delgada película esférica que nos permitiu a existência e nos dá abrigo. O maior drama da ocupação humana do ambiente superficial da Terra é que tal capacidade está destruindo o sistema de suporte à vida, sistema esse dependente 100% de todas demais espécies as quais o ser humano tem massacrado em sua expansão explosiva.

Infelizmente, na expansão do antropoceno, o conhecimento científico tem sido apropriado de forma gananciosa por mentes limitadas e arrogantes, e empregado no desenvolvimento sinistro de tecnologias e engenharias que por absoluta ignorância tornaram-se incapazes de valorizar o capital natural da Terra. Este comportamento autodestrutivo tem direta relação com a visão de ganho em curto prazo e a ilusão de poder auferida na aplicação autista de agulhas tecnológicas.

IHU On-Line – Em que medida a aproximação entre ciência e saberes indígenas pode contribuir para um novo caminho em termos de preservação do planeta e produção de alimentos?

Antonio Donato Nobre – Cada pesquisador sincero, inteligente e com mente aberta deve reconhecer a máxima milenar da sabedoria socrática: “somente sei que nada sei”. O conhecimento verdadeiro e sem limites internos impõe uma postura sóbria e humilde diante da enormidade da complexidade do mundo e da natureza. Hoje, a ciência mais avançada dá inteiro e detalhado suporte ao saber ancestral de sociedades tribais, que perduraram por milênios. Descer do salto alto da arrogância que fermentou graças ao individualismo permitirá reconhecer essa sabedoria básica de sustentabilidade, preservada no saber indígena.

Para a ciência, a aprender com o saber nativo está a veneração pela sabedoria da Mãe Terra; a intuição despretensiosa que capta o essencial da complexidade em princípios simples e elegantes; e sua capacidade holística e lúdica de articular a miríade de componentes do ambiente em uma constelação coerente e funcional de elos significativos.

IHU On-Line – De que forma a tecnociência e a tecnocracia impactam na forma de observar o planeta? O que isso significa para a humanidade?

Antonio Donato Nobre – A ciência é esta fascinante aventura humana na busca do conhecimento, evoluída aceleradamente a partir do renascimento na Europa. Muitas são suas virtudes e incríveis suas aplicações. No entanto, tais brilhos parecem infelizmente vir acompanhados quase sempre de alucinantes danos colaterais, nem sempre reconhecidos como tal. Na ciência, que gera o conhecimento básico; na tecnologia, que aplica criativamente esse conhecimento; e na engenharia, que transforma conhecimento em realidade, grassa uma anomalia reducionista que permite a hipertrofia de soluções pontuais, desconectadas entre si e do conjunto.

Tal abordagem gera soluções autistas que não se comunicam, tumores exuberantes cuja expansão danifica tudo que está em volta. Assim, a tecnociência olha o mundo com um microscópio grudado em seus olhos, vê pixel, mas ignora a paisagem. Abre caminhos para que ânimos restritos se apropriem de conhecimentos parciais e destruam o mundo. É preciso remover os microscópios dos olhos, olhar o conjunto, perceber as conexões e, assim, aplicar o conhecimento de forma sábia e benéfica.

IHU On-Line – De que forma conceitos como a Ecologia Integral, presentes na Encíclica Laudato Si’, do papa Francisco, contribuem para o desenvolvimento de uma visão sistêmica do ser humano sobre o planeta? Qual a importância de uma perspectiva multidisciplinar acerca da temática ambiental?

Antonio Donato Nobre – Ecologia Integral deve significar o que o nome diz. Aliás, se não for integral não pode ser denominada ecologia. Isso porque na natureza não existe isolamento, cada partícula, cada componente, cada organismo e cada sistema interage com os demais, sob o sábio comando das leis fundamentais. Por isso a ação humana pode gerar um acorde harmonioso na grande sinfonia universal, ou — se desrespeitar as leis — tornar-se fonte de perturbação e destruição.

Mais importante do que ser multidisciplinar é ser não-disciplinar, isto é, integrar e dissolver as “disciplinas” em um saber amplo e articulado, sem fronteiras artificiais e domínios de egos. A ciência verdadeira é aquela oriunda do livre pensar, do profundo sentir e do intuir espontâneo. A busca da verdade está ao alcance de todas as pessoas, não é nem deveria ser território exclusivo dos iniciados na ciência. Todos somos dotados da capacidade de inquirir e temos como promessa de realização o dom da consciência. Cientistas são facilitadores, e como tal deveriam servir aos semelhantes com boa vontade, iluminando o caminho do conhecimento, guiando na direção do saber.

IHU On-Line – Como avalia a agroecologia no Brasil hoje? O que a ciência e a tecnologia oferecem em termos de avanços para esse campo?

Antonio Donato Nobre – Agroecologia, agrofloresta sintrópica, sistemas agroflorestais, agricultura biodinâmica, trofobiose, agricultura orgânica, agricultura sustentável etc. compõem um rico repertório de abordagens que convergem na aspiração de emular em agroecossistemas a riqueza e funcionamento dos ecossistemas naturais. Uma parte dos desenvolvimentos científicos e tecnológicos autistas de até então pode ser aproveitada para essa nova era de agricultura produtiva, iluminada, respeitadora, harmônica e saudável.

É preciso, porém, que o isolamento acabe, que os conhecimentos sejam transparentes, integrados, articulados, simplificados e recolocados em perspectiva. Se as agulhas tecnológicas foram danosas, como os transgênicos, por exemplo, ainda assim serão úteis para sabermos o que “não” fazer. Na compreensão em detalhe das bases moleculares da vida, abrindo portais para consciência sobre a complexidade astronômica existente e atuante em todos os organismos, a humanidade terá finalmente a prova irrefutável para o acerto das abordagens holísticas e ecológicas.

IHU On-Line – Deseja acrescentar algo?

Antonio Donato Nobre – É preciso iluminar e revelar a imensa teia de mentiras criada em torno da revolução verde com seus exuberantes tumores tecnológicos. As falsidades suportadas por corporações, governos, mídia e educação bitoladora desde a mais tenra idade, implantaram um sistema mundial de dominação que, literalmente, enfia goela abaixo da humanidade um menu infernal de alimentos portadores de doenças.

Esse triunfante modelo de negócio não se contenta em somente alimentar mal, o faz via quantidades crescentes de produtos animais, os quais requerem imensas áreas e grandes quantidades de água e outros insumos para serem produzidos.

Com isso a pegada humana no planeta torna-se destrutiva e insuportável, e a consequência já se faz sentir no clima como falência múltipla de órgãos. Apesar disso, creio que ainda temos uma pequena chance de evitar o pior se, como humanidade, dermos apoio irrestrito para a busca da verdade.

Precisamos de uma operação Lava Jato no campo, e a ciência tem todas as ferramentas para apoiar esse esforço de sobrevivência.

Instituto Humanitas Unisinos

A importância da laicidade no século 21 (OESP)

15 Maio 2016 | 03h 00

Neste século, cujo primeiro evento de repercussão mundial foram os ataques às torres gêmeas de Nova York, em 11 de setembro de 2001, assistimos ao ressurgimento do papel da religião na vida política. No cenário internacional, são notórios e dramáticos os fatos que complicam a geopolítica mundial, ocasionados por interpretações de caráter fundamentalista de religiões estabelecidas.

No Brasil, a presença da atividade política baseada e dirigida por princípios de fé nunca foi tão marcante. De acordo com o Departamento Intersindical de Assessoria Parlamentar (Diap), o pleito de 2014 elegeu uma bancada evangélica de 75 deputados federais; no seu apogeu, em 1962, o Partido Democrata Cristão, de inspiração católica, tinha 20 cadeiras na Câmara dos Deputados.

Nesse contexto, é oportuno retomar a questão da laicidade, seu papel na vida da democracia e dos direitos humanos, seus nexos com a secularização e a tolerância.

A secularização, termo que vem do latim saeculum, do mundo da vida terrena (não da vida religiosa), e a laicidade, do grego laos, povo, como leigo e laico, em contraposição ao clero no quadro de hierarquização da Igreja, foram consequências da dessacralização da sociedade, como aponta Weber.

O processo de diferenciação estrutural e funcional das instituições é a acepção que mais aproxima a laicização à secularização. Os atores sociais não só começaram a se distanciar da força avassaladora das tradições religiosas, mas as relações das religiões com o Estado se alteraram fundamentalmente no correr desse processo que remonta aos ideais do Iluminismo e da Revolução Francesa. Nesse contexto, surge o tema da laicidade do Estado.

Um Estado laico diferencia-se do teocrático, em que o poder religioso e o poder político se fundem, e também do confessional, em que há vínculos entre o poder político e uma religião.

No Brasil Império, a religião oficial era a católica, ainda que outras fossem permitidas e a liberdade de opinião, assegurada. Com a República, deu-se a separação da Igreja do Estado, que se tornou laico, ensejando a igualdade da liberdade dos cultos, a secularização dos cemitérios, o casamento civil e o registro civil para o nascimento e o falecimento de pessoas.

Rui Barbosa, autor da legislação que implantou a laicização do Estado brasileiro, consagrada na Constituição de 1891, explica que sua matriz inspiradora foi norte-americana. O Estado se dessolidarizou de toda a atividade religiosa em função, como diria Jefferson, da prevalência de um muro de separação entre a atividade religiosa e a ação estatal como preconizado pela Primeira Emenda da Constituição dos EUA. O Estado laico não implica que a sociedade civil seja laica. Com efeito, esta passou a se constituir como uma esfera autônoma e própria para o exercício da liberdade religiosa e de consciência, na qual o Estado não interfere. Abria-se desse modo espaço para o que Benjamin Constant denominou liberdade negativa, não submetida a regras externas provenientes do poder público.

A laicidade, aponta Abbagnano, é expressão do princípio da autonomia das/nas atividades humanas: elas podem se desenvolver segundo regras próprias, não impostas externamente por fins e interesses diversos daqueles que as inspiram e norteiam. É o caso da liberdade de pesquisa, que pressupõe o antidogmatismo e o exame crítico de temas e problemas.

Quando a polarização e as tensões se tornam mais agudas, é importante lembrar que a laicidade é uma das formas de tolerância, ou, mais exatamente, uma das maneiras de responder ao problema da intolerância.

Como ressalta Bobbio, o tema da tolerância surgiu com a desconcentração do poder ideológico (consequência da secularização), pois a tolerância em relação a distintas crenças e opiniões coloca o problema de como lidar com a compatibilidade/convivência de verdades contrapostas (laicidade metodológica, pluralismo, antidogmatismo) e, subsequentemente, com o “diferente” (estrangeiros, pessoas de diversas opções sexuais, etc…). Daí o nexo entre democracia e direitos humanos, pois a tutela da liberdade de crença, de opinião e de posições políticas integra as regras do jogo democrático, para as quais o Outro não é um inimigo a ser eliminado, mas integrante da mesma comunidade política.

Em relação ao “diferente”, lembro que a Constituição (artigo 3.º, IV) estabelece que um dos objetivos da República é “promover o bem de todos sem preconceitos de origem, raça, sexo, cor e quaisquer outras formas de discriminação”.

Entre os componentes da dicotomia tolerância/intolerância está, no plano interno, a convivência/coexistência de verdades contrapostas (religiosas, políticas), no âmbito das regras do jogo democrático e da tutela dos direitos humanos; no plano externo, a aceitação da pluralidade dos Estados na sua heterogeneidade.

Por essa razão um Estado aconfessional como o brasileiro (artigo 19, I, da Constituição) não pode, por obra de dependência ou aliança com qualquer religião, sancionar juridicamente normas ético-religiosas próprias à fé de uma confissão. Por exemplo: no campo da família, o direito ao divórcio; no critério do início da vida, a descriminalização do aborto e a pesquisa científica com células-tronco.

Num Estado laico, as normas religiosas das diversas confissões são conselhos dirigidos aos fiéis, e não comandos para toda a sociedade. A finalidade da liberdade de religião e de pensamento é garantir ao cidadão uti singuli a máxima diferenciação no campo das ideologias, das religiões e da cultura – ou seja, a liberdade individual.

A finalidade pública da laicidade é criar, nesse contexto, para todos os cidadãos uma plataforma comum na qual possam encontrar-se enquanto membros de uma comunidade política. É essa finalidade que cabe resguardar, para conter o indevido transbordar da religião para o espaço público, que se tornou um dos desafios da agenda política contemporânea.

Neste século, cujo primeiro evento de repercussão mundial foram os ataques às torres gêmeas de Nova York, em 11 de setembro de 2001, assistimos ao ressurgimento do papel da religião na vida política. No cenário internacional, são notórios e dramáticos os fatos que complicam a geopolítica mundial, ocasionados por interpretações de caráter fundamentalista de religiões estabelecidas.

No Brasil, a presença da atividade política baseada e dirigida por princípios de fé nunca foi tão marcante. De acordo com o Departamento Intersindical de Assessoria Parlamentar (Diap), o pleito de 2014 elegeu uma bancada evangélica de 75 deputados federais; no seu apogeu, em 1962, o Partido Democrata Cristão, de inspiração católica, tinha 20 cadeiras na Câmara dos Deputados.

Nesse contexto, é oportuno retomar a questão da laicidade, seu papel na vida da democracia e dos direitos humanos, seus nexos com a secularização e a tolerância.

A secularização, termo que vem do latim saeculum, do mundo da vida terrena (não da vida religiosa), e a laicidade, do grego laos, povo, como leigo e laico, em contraposição ao clero no quadro de hierarquização da Igreja, foram consequências da dessacralização da sociedade, como aponta Weber.

O processo de diferenciação estrutural e funcional das instituições é a acepção que mais aproxima a laicização à secularização. Os atores sociais não só começaram a se distanciar da força avassaladora das tradições religiosas, mas as relações das religiões com o Estado se alteraram fundamentalmente no correr desse processo que remonta aos ideais do Iluminismo e da Revolução Francesa. Nesse contexto, surge o tema da laicidade do Estado.

Um Estado laico diferencia-se do teocrático, em que o poder religioso e o poder político se fundem, e também do confessional, em que há vínculos entre o poder político e uma religião.

No Brasil Império, a religião oficial era a católica, ainda que outras fossem permitidas e a liberdade de opinião, assegurada. Com a República, deu-se a separação da Igreja do Estado, que se tornou laico, ensejando a igualdade da liberdade dos cultos, a secularização dos cemitérios, o casamento civil e o registro civil para o nascimento e o falecimento de pessoas.

Rui Barbosa, autor da legislação que implantou a laicização do Estado brasileiro, consagrada na Constituição de 1891, explica que sua matriz inspiradora foi norte-americana. O Estado se dessolidarizou de toda a atividade religiosa em função, como diria Jefferson, da prevalência de um muro de separação entre a atividade religiosa e a ação estatal como preconizado pela Primeira Emenda da Constituição dos EUA. O Estado laico não implica que a sociedade civil seja laica. Com efeito, esta passou a se constituir como uma esfera autônoma e própria para o exercício da liberdade religiosa e de consciência, na qual o Estado não interfere. Abria-se desse modo espaço para o que Benjamin Constant denominou liberdade negativa, não submetida a regras externas provenientes do poder público.

A laicidade, aponta Abbagnano, é expressão do princípio da autonomia das/nas atividades humanas: elas podem se desenvolver segundo regras próprias, não impostas externamente por fins e interesses diversos daqueles que as inspiram e norteiam. É o caso da liberdade de pesquisa, que pressupõe o antidogmatismo e o exame crítico de temas e problemas.

Quando a polarização e as tensões se tornam mais agudas, é importante lembrar que a laicidade é uma das formas de tolerância, ou, mais exatamente, uma das maneiras de responder ao problema da intolerância.

Como ressalta Bobbio, o tema da tolerância surgiu com a desconcentração do poder ideológico (consequência da secularização), pois a tolerância em relação a distintas crenças e opiniões coloca o problema de como lidar com a compatibilidade/convivência de verdades contrapostas (laicidade metodológica, pluralismo, antidogmatismo) e, subsequentemente, com o “diferente” (estrangeiros, pessoas de diversas opções sexuais, etc…). Daí o nexo entre democracia e direitos humanos, pois a tutela da liberdade de crença, de opinião e de posições políticas integra as regras do jogo democrático, para as quais o Outro não é um inimigo a ser eliminado, mas integrante da mesma comunidade política.

Em relação ao “diferente”, lembro que a Constituição (artigo 3.º, IV) estabelece que um dos objetivos da República é “promover o bem de todos sem preconceitos de origem, raça, sexo, cor e quaisquer outras formas de discriminação”.

Entre os componentes da dicotomia tolerância/intolerância está, no plano interno, a convivência/coexistência de verdades contrapostas (religiosas, políticas), no âmbito das regras do jogo democrático e da tutela dos direitos humanos; no plano externo, a aceitação da pluralidade dos Estados na sua heterogeneidade.

Por essa razão um Estado aconfessional como o brasileiro (artigo 19, I, da Constituição) não pode, por obra de dependência ou aliança com qualquer religião, sancionar juridicamente normas ético-religiosas próprias à fé de uma confissão. Por exemplo: no campo da família, o direito ao divórcio; no critério do início da vida, a descriminalização do aborto e a pesquisa científica com células-tronco.

Num Estado laico, as normas religiosas das diversas confissões são conselhos dirigidos aos fiéis, e não comandos para toda a sociedade. A finalidade da liberdade de religião e de pensamento é garantir ao cidadão uti singuli a máxima diferenciação no campo das ideologias, das religiões e da cultura – ou seja, a liberdade individual.

A finalidade pública da laicidade é criar, nesse contexto, para todos os cidadãos uma plataforma comum na qual possam encontrar-se enquanto membros de uma comunidade política. É essa finalidade que cabe resguardar, para conter o indevido transbordar da religião para o espaço público, que se tornou um dos desafios da agenda política contemporânea.

*Celso Lafer é professor emérito da Universidade de São Paulo

A ciência inútil de Alckmim (OESP)

14 Maio 2016 | 03h 00

Geraldo Alckmin insinuou, semanas atrás, que o dinheiro destinado à pesquisa científica no Estado de São Paulo é desperdiçado em estudos irrelevantes ou mesmo inúteis. Ninguém duvida que a aplicação do dinheiro público deve ser cuidadosa e sempre pode ser melhorada. O problema é saber o que é ciência útil.

Quinze páginas publicadas nesta semana na mais conceituada revista científica mundial podem ser consideradas uma resposta às criticas do governador. Principalmente porque seus autores foram, durante anos, considerados grandes produtores de ciência “inútil”. Mas vamos à história que culminou na publicação.

Faz mais de 20 anos, um amigo voltou da França com uma ideia fixa. Queria estudar a biologia molecular dos vírus. Argumentava que novos vírus surgiriam do nada para assombrar a humanidade. O HIV e o ebola eram o prenúncio do que nos esperava no futuro. Sua ciência sempre foi criativa e de qualidade. E foi por esse motivo, e não com medo do apocalipse, que a Fapesp passou a financiar o jovem virologista. O grupo cresceu.

A ciência que esses virologistas produziram nas últimas décadas pode ser classificada como básica ou pura, sem utilidade aparente. Talvez fosse considerada “inútil” pelo governador. Pessoas que pensam assim acreditam que o papel do Estado é financiar projetos que resultem em conhecimentos de utilidade óbvia e imediata, que resolvam os problemas da Nação. Como essa política científica utilitarista e de curto prazo não predomina na Fapesp, a virologia molecular “inútil” prosperou no Estado de São Paulo. Entre os anos 2000 e 2007, eles formaram uma rede de pesquisa, montaram laboratórios, formaram estudantes e publicaram trabalhos científicos. Depois cada um seguiu seu caminho, estudando vírus diferentes, com métodos distintos, nas mais diversas unidades da USP.

Em dezembro, meu colega apareceu na Fapesp com outra ideia fixa. Argumentou que um vírus quase desconhecido poderia estar relacionado aos casos de microcefalia que pipocavam no Nordeste. Era o zika. Enquanto o pânico se espalhava em meio à total desinformação, em uma semana a rede dos virologistas moleculares se aglutinou e resolveu atacar o problema. Eram 45 cientistas agrupados em 15 laboratórios “inúteis”. Na semana seguinte, a Fapesp aumentou o financiamento desses laboratórios. Não tardou para um exército de virologistas moleculares paulistas desembarcar no palco da tragédia munidos de tudo que existia de “inútil” nos seus laboratórios. Isolaram o vírus dos pacientes e, enquanto um laboratório “inútil” cultivava o vírus, outro “inútil” sequenciou seu genoma. Rapidamente esse grupo de cientistas básicos se tornou “útil”. Demonstraram que o vírus ataca células do sistema nervoso, que atravessa a placenta e infecta o sistema nervoso do feto. E que provoca o retardo de seu crescimento.

Em poucos meses, a nova variante do vírus zika foi identificada, isolada, seu mecanismo de ação, esclarecido, e um modelo experimental para a doença foi desenvolvido. Essas descobertas vão servir como base para o desenvolvimento de uma vacina nos próximos anos. São essas descobertas “úteis”, descritas no trabalho realizado por cientistas “inúteis”, que agora foram publicadas pela revista Nature.

Premidos pela Segunda Guerra, cientistas “inúteis” dos EUA e da Inglaterra desenvolveram o radar, a bomba atômica e o computador. Premidos pela microcefalia, nossos virologistas estão ajudando a resolver o problema. Da mesma maneira que era impossível prever no entreguerras que o financiamento de linguistas, físicos teóricos, matemáticos e outros cientistas “inúteis” fosse ajudar no esforço de guerra, era impossível prever que os esforços de financiamento de jovens virologistas iriam, anos mais tarde, solucionar o enigma do zika antes da toda poderosa ciência americana.

Esse é um dos motivos que levam todo país que se preza a financiar essa tal de ciência “inútil”. Esse repositório de cientistas, laboratórios e conhecimento não somente aumenta nosso conhecimento sobre a natureza e ajuda a educar nossos jovens, mas pode ser aglutinado em uma emergência. Foi porque a Fapesp financiou ciência “inútil” por anos que agora temos a capacidade de responder rapidamente a uma emergência médica nacional. Do meu ponto de vista, a simples existência desse trabalho científico é uma resposta da comunidade científica às críticas ventiladas por nosso governador.

MAIS INFORMAÇÕES: THE BRAZILIAN ZIKA VÍRUS STRAIN CAUSES BIRTH DEFECTS IN EXPERIMENTAL MODELS. NATURE DOI:10.1038/NATURE18296 2016

Há um limite para avanços tecnológicos? (OESP)

16 Maio 2016 | 03h 00

Está se tornando popular entre políticos e governos a ideia que a estagnação da economia mundial se deve ao fato de que o “século de ouro” da inovação científica e tecnológica acabou. Este “século de ouro” é usualmente definido como o período de 1870 a 1970, no qual os fundamentos da era tecnológica em que vivemos foram estabelecidos.

De fato, nesse período se verificaram grandes avanços no nosso conhecimento, que vão desde a Teoria da Evolução, de Darwin, até a descoberta das leis do eletromagnetismo, que levou à produção de eletricidade em larga escala, e telecomunicações, incluindo rádio e televisão, com os benefícios resultantes para o bem-estar das populações. Outros avanços, na área de medicina, como vacinas e antibióticos, estenderam a vida média dos seres humanos. A descoberta e o uso do petróleo e do gás natural estão dentro desse período.

São muitos os que argumentam que em nenhum outro período de um século – ao longo dos 10 mil anos da História da humanidade – tantos progressos foram alcançados. Essa visão da História, porém, pode e tem sido questionada. No século anterior, de 1770 a 1870, por exemplo, houve também grandes progressos, decorrentes do desenvolvimento dos motores que usavam o carvão como combustível, os quais permitiram construir locomotivas e deram início à Revolução Industrial.

Apesar disso, os saudosistas acreditam que o “período dourado” de inovações se tenha esgotado e, em decorrência, os governos adotam hoje medidas de caráter puramente econômico para fazer reviver o “progresso”: subsídios a setores específicos, redução de impostos e políticas sociais para reduzir as desigualdades, entre outras, negligenciando o apoio à ciência e tecnologia.

Algumas dessas políticas poderiam ajudar, mas não tocam no aspecto fundamental do problema, que é tentar manter vivo o avanço da ciência e da tecnologia, que resolveu problemas no passado e poderá ajudar a resolver problemas no futuro.

Para analisar melhor a questão é preciso lembrar que não é o número de novas descobertas que garante a sua relevância. O avanço da tecnologia lembra um pouco o que acontece às vezes com a seleção natural dos seres vivos: algumas espécies são tão bem adaptadas ao meio ambiente em que vivem que deixam de “evoluir”: esse é o caso dos besouros que existiam na época do apogeu do Egito, 5 mil anos atrás, e continuam lá até hoje; ou de espécies “fósseis” de peixes que evoluíram pouco em milhões de anos.

Outros exemplos são produtos da tecnologia moderna, como os magníficos aviões DC-3, produzidos há mais de 50 anos e que ainda representam uma parte importante do tráfego aéreo mundial.

Mesmo em áreas mais sofisticadas, como a informática, isso parece estar ocorrendo. A base dos avanços nessa área foi a “miniaturização” dos chips eletrônicos, onde estão os transistores. Em 1971 os chips produzidos pela Intel (empresa líder na área) tinham 2.300 transistores numa placa de 12 milímetros quadrados. Os chips de hoje são pouco maiores, mas têm 5 bilhões de transistores. Foi isso que permitiu a produção de computadores personalizados, telefones celulares e inúmeros outros produtos. E é por essa razão que a telefonia fixa está sendo abandonada e a comunicação via Skype é praticamente gratuita e revolucionou o mundo das comunicações.

Há agora indicações que essa miniaturização atingiu seus limites, o que causa uma certa depressão entre os “sacerdotes” desse setor. Essa é uma visão equivocada. O nível de sucesso foi tal que mais progressos nessa direção são realmente desnecessários, que é o que aconteceu com inúmeros seres vivos no passado.

O que parece ser a solução dos problemas do crescimento econômico no longo prazo é o avanço da tecnologia em outras áreas que não têm recebido a atenção necessária: novos materiais, inteligência artificial, robôs industriais, engenharia genética, prevenção de doenças e, mais do que tudo, entender o cérebro humano, o produto mais sofisticado da evolução da vida na Terra.

Entender como uma combinação de átomos e moléculas pode gerar um órgão tão criativo como o cérebro, capaz de possuir uma consciência e criatividade para compor sinfonias como as de Beethoven – e ao mesmo tempo promover o extermínio de milhões de seres humanos –, será provavelmente o avanço mais extraordinário que o Homo sapiens poderá atingir.

Avanços nessas áreas poderiam criar uma vaga de inovações e progresso material superior em quantidade e qualidade ao que se produziu no “século de ouro”. Mais ainda enfrentamos hoje um problema global, novo aqui, que é a degradação ambiental, resultante em parte do sucesso dos avanços da tecnologia do século 20. Apenas a tarefa de reduzir as emissões de gases que provocam o aquecimento global (resultante da queima de combustíveis fósseis) será uma tarefa hercúlea.

Antes disso, e num plano muito mais pedestre, os avanços que estão sendo feitos na melhoria da eficiência no uso de recursos naturais é extraordinário e não tem tido o crédito e o reconhecimento que merecem.

Só para dar um exemplo, em 1950 os americanos gastavam, em média, 30% da sua renda em alimentos. No ano de 2013 essa porcentagem havia caído para 10%. Os gastos com energia também caíram, graças à melhoria da eficiência dos automóveis e outros fins, como iluminação e aquecimento, o que, aliás, explica por que o preço do barril de petróleo caiu de US$ 150 para menos de US$ 30. É que simplesmente existe petróleo demais no mundo, como também existe capacidade ociosa de aço e cimento.

Um exemplo de um país que está seguindo esse caminho é o Japão, cuja economia não está crescendo muito, mas sua população tem um nível de vida elevado e continua a beneficiar-se gradualmente dos avanços da tecnologia moderna.

*José Goldemberg é professor emérito da Universidade de São Paulo (USP) e é presidente da Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp)

Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone (Science)

John Bohannon

Science  29 Apr 2016: Vol. 352, Issue 6285, pp. 508-512
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6285.508

Data from the controversial website Sci-Hub reveal that the whole world turns to it for journal articles.

Just as spring arrived last month in Iran, Meysam Rahimi sat down at his university computer and immediately ran into a problem: how to get the scientific papers he needed. He had to write up a research proposal for his engineering Ph.D. at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. His project straddles both operations management and behavioral economics, so Rahimi had a lot of ground to cover.

But every time he found the abstract of a relevant paper, he hit a paywall. Although Amirkabir is one of the top research universities in Iran, international sanctions and economic woes have left it with poor access to journals. To read a 2011 paper in Applied Mathematics and Computation, Rahimi would have to pay the publisher, Elsevier, $28. A 2015 paper in Operations Research, published by the U.S.-based company INFORMS, would cost $30.

He looked at his list of abstracts and did the math. Purchasing the papers was going to cost $1000 this week alone—about as much as his monthly living expenses—and he would probably need to read research papers at this rate for years to come. Rahimi was peeved. “Publishers give nothing to the authors, so why should they receive anything more than a small amount for managing the journal?”

Many academic publishers offer programs to help researchers in poor countries access papers, but only one, called Share Link, seemed relevant to the papers that Rahimi sought. It would require him to contact authors individually to get links to their work, and such links go dead 50 days after a paper’s publication. The choice seemed clear: Either quit the Ph.D. or illegally obtain copies of the papers. So like millions of other researchers, he turned to Sci-Hub, the world’s largest pirate website for scholarly literature. Rahimi felt no guilt. As he sees it, high-priced journals “may be slowing down the growth of science severely.”

The journal publishers take a very different view. “I’m all for universal access, but not theft!” tweeted Elsevier’s director of universal access, Alicia Wise, on 14 March during a heated public debate over Sci-Hub. “There are lots of legal ways to get access.” Wise’s tweet included a link to a list of 20 of the company’s access initiatives, including Share Link.

But in increasing numbers, researchers around the world are turning to Sci-Hub, which hosts 50 million papers and counting. Over the 6 months leading up to March, Sci-Hub served up 28 million documents. More than 2.6 million download requests came from Iran, 3.4 million from India, and 4.4 million from China. The papers cover every scientific topic, from obscure physics experiments published decades ago to the latest breakthroughs in biotechnology. The publisher with the most requested Sci-Hub articles? It is Elsevier by a long shot—Sci-Hub provided half-a-million downloads of Elsevier papers in one recent week.

These statistics are based on extensive server log data supplied by Alexandra Elbakyan, the neuroscientist who created Sci-Hub in 2011 as a 22-year-old graduate student in Kazakhstan (see bio, p. 511). I asked her for the data because, in spite of the flurry of polarized opinion pieces, blog posts, and tweets about Sci-Hub and what effect it has on research and academic publishing, some of the most basic questions remain unanswered: Who are Sci-Hub’s users, where are they, and what are they reading?

For someone denounced as a criminal by powerful corporations and scholarly societies, Elbakyan was surprisingly forthcoming and transparent. After establishing contact through an encrypted chat system, she worked with me over the course of several weeks to create a data set for public release: every download event over the 6-month period starting 1 September 2015, including the digital object identifier (DOI) for every paper. To protect the privacy of Sci-Hub users, we agreed that she would first aggregate users’ geographic locations to the nearest city using data from Google Maps; no identifying internet protocol (IP) addresses were given to me. (The data set and details on how it was analyzed are freely accessible at http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q447c.)

F1.mediumIt’s a Sci-Hub WorldCREDITS: (DATA) SCI-HUB; (MAP) ADAPTED BY G. GRULLÓN/SCIENCE 

Elbakyan also answered nearly every question I had about her operation of the website, interaction with users, and even her personal life. Among the few things she would not disclose is her current location, because she is at risk of financial ruin, extradition, and imprisonment because of a lawsuit launched by Elsevier last year.

The Sci-Hub data provide the first detailed view of what is becoming the world’s de facto open-access research library. Among the revelations that may surprise both fans and foes alike: Sci-Hub users are not limited to the developing world. Some critics of Sci-Hub have complained that many users can access the same papers through their libraries but turn to Sci-Hub instead—for convenience rather than necessity. The data provide some support for that claim. The United States is the fifth largest downloader after Russia, and a quarter of the Sci-Hub requests for papers came from the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the wealthiest nations with, supposedly, the best journal access. In fact, some of the most intense use of Sci-Hub appears to be happening on the campuses of U.S. and European universities.

In October last year, a New York judge ruled in favor of Elsevier, decreeing that Sci-Hub infringes on the publisher’s legal rights as the copyright holder of its journal content, and ordered that the website desist. The injunction has had little effect, as the server data reveal. Although the sci-hub.org web domain was seized in November 2015, the servers that power Sci-Hub are based in Russia, beyond the influence of the U.S. legal system. Barely skipping a beat, the site popped back up on a different domain.

Online Survey

Tell us what you think about Sci-Hub at http://bit.ly/Sci-Hub.

It’s hard to discern how threatened by Sci-Hub Elsevier and other major publishers truly feel, in part because legal download totals aren’t typically made public. An Elsevier report in 2010, however, estimated more than 1 billion downloads for all publishers for the year, suggesting Sci-Hub may be siphoning off under 5% of normal traffic. Still, many are concerned that Sci-Hub will prove as disruptive to the academic publishing business as the pirate site Napster was for the music industry (see editorial, p. 497). “I don’t endorse illegal tactics,” says Peter Suber, director of the Office for Scholarly Communications at Harvard University and one of the leading experts on open-access publishing. However, “a lawsuit isn’t going to stop it, nor is there any obvious technical means. Everyone should be thinking about the fact that this is here to stay.”

Need or convenience?CREDITS: (DATA) SCI-HUB; (MAP) ADAPTED BY G. GRULLÓN/SCIENCE

IT IS EASY TO UNDERSTAND why journal publishers might see Sci-Hub as a threat. It is as simple to use as Google’s search engine, and as long as you know the DOI or title of a paper, it is more reliable for finding the full text. Chances are, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Along with book chapters, monographs, and conference proceedings, Sci-Hub has amassed copies of the majority of scholarly articles ever published. It continues to grow: When someone requests a paper not already on Sci-Hub, it pirates a copy and adds it to the repository.

Elbakyan declined to say exactly how she obtains the papers, but she did confirm that it involves online credentials: the user IDs and passwords of people or institutions with legitimate access to journal content. She says that many academics have donated them voluntarily. Publishers have alleged that Sci-Hub relies on phishing emails to trick researchers, for example by having them log in at fake journal websites. “I cannot confirm the exact source of the credentials,” Elbakyan told me, “but can confirm that I did not send any phishing emails myself.”

So by design, Sci-Hub’s content is driven by what scholars seek. The January paper in The Astronomical Journal describing a possible new planet on the outskirts of our solar system? The 2015 Nature paper describing oxygen on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko? The paper in which a team genetically engineered HIV resistance into human embryos with the CRISPR method, published a month ago in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics? Sci-Hub has them all.

It has news articles from scientific journals—including many of mine in Science—as well as copies of open-access papers, perhaps because of confusion on the part of users or because they are simply using Sci-Hub as their all-in-one portal for papers. More than 4000 different papers from PLOS’s various open-access journals, for example, can be downloaded from Sci-Hub.

The flow of Sci-Hub activity over time reflects the working lives of researchers, growing over the course of each day and then ebbing—but never stopping—as night falls. (There is an 18-day gap in the data starting 4 November 2015 when the domain sci-hub.org went down and the server logs were improperly configured.) By the end of February, the flow of Sci-Hub papers had risen to its highest level yet: more than 200,000 download requests per day.

How many Sci-Hub users are there? The download requests came from 3 million unique IP addresses, which provides a lower bound. But the true number is much higher because thousands of people on a university campus can share the same IP address. Sci-Hub downloaders live on every continent except Antarctica. Of the 24,000 city locations to which they cluster, the busiest is Tehran, with 1.27 million requests. Much of that is from Iranians using programs to automatically download huge swaths of Sci-Hub’s papers to make a local mirror of the site, Elbakyan says. Rahimi, the engineering student in Tehran, confirms this. “There are several Persian sites similar to Sci-Hub,” he says. “So you should consider Iranian illegal [paper] downloads to be five to six times higher” than what Sci-Hub alone reveals.

The geography of Sci-Hub usage generally looks like a map of scientific productivity, but with some of the richer and poorer science-focused nations flipped. The smaller countries have stories of their own. Someone in Nuuk, Greenland, is reading a paper about how best to provide cancer treatment to indigenous populations. Research goes on in Libya, even as a civil war rages there. Someone in Benghazi is investigating a method for transmitting data between computers across an air gap. Far to the south in the oil-rich desert, someone near the town of Sabhā is delving into fluid dynamics. (Go to bit.ly/Sci-Hub for an interactive map of the website’s data and see what people are reading in cities worldwide.) Mapping IP addresses to real-world locations can paint a false picture if people hide behind web proxies or anonymous routing services. But according to Elbakyan, fewer than 3% of Sci-Hub users are using those.

In the United States and Europe, Sci-Hub users concentrate where academic researchers are working. Over the 6-month period, 74,000 download requests came from IP addresses in New York City, home to multiple universities and scientific institutions. There were 19,000 download requests from Columbus, a city with less than a tenth of New York’s population, and 68,000 from East Lansing, Michigan, which has less than a hundredth. These are the homes of Ohio State University and Michigan State University (MSU), respectively.

The numbers for Ashburn, Virginia, the top U.S. city with nearly 100,000 Sci-Hub requests, are harder to interpret. The George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C., has its science and technology campus there, but Ashburn is also home to Janelia Research Campus, the elite Howard Hughes Medical Institute outpost, as well as the servers of the Wikimedia Foundation, the headquarters of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Spokespeople for the latter two say their employees are unlikely to account for the traffic. The GWU press office responded defensively, sending me to an online statement that the university recently issued about the impact of journal subscription rate hikes on its library budget. “Scholarly resources are not luxury goods,” it says. “But they are priced as though they were.”

Several GWU students confessed to being Sci-Hub fans. When she moved from Argentina to the United States in 2014 to start her physics Ph.D., Natalia Clementi says her access to some key journals within the field actually worsened because GWU didn’t have subscriptions to them. Researchers in Argentina may have trouble obtaining some specialty journals, she notes, but “most of them have no problem accessing big journals because the government pays the subscription at all the public universities around the country.”

Even for journals to which the university has access, Sci-Hub is becoming the go-to resource, says Gil Forsyth, another GWU physics Ph.D. student. “If I do a search on Google Scholar and there’s no immediate PDF link, I have to click through to ‘Check Access through GWU’ and then it’s hit or miss,” he says. “If I put [the paper’s title or DOI] into Sci-Hub, it will just work.” He says that Elsevier publishes the journals that he has had the most trouble accessing.

The GWU library system “offers a document delivery system specifically for math, physics, chemistry, and engineering faculty,” I was told by Maralee Csellar, the university’s director of media relations. “Graduate students who want to access an article from the Elsevier system should work with their department chair, professor of the class, or their faculty thesis adviser for assistance.”

The intense Sci-Hub activity in East Lansing reveals yet another motivation for using the site. Most of the downloads seem to be the work of a few or even just one person running a “scraping” program over the December 2015 holidays, downloading papers at superhuman speeds. I asked Elbakyan whether those download requests came from MSU’s IP addresses, and she confirmed that they did. The papers are all from chemistry journals, most of them published by the American Chemical Society. So the apparent goal is to build a massive private repository of chemical literature. But why?

Bill Hart-Davidson, MSU’s associate dean for graduate education, suggests that the likely answer is “text-mining,” the use of computer programs to analyze large collections of documents to generate data. When I called Hart-Davidson, I suggested that the East Lansing Sci-Hub scraper might be someone from his own research team. But he laughed and said that he had no idea who it was. But he understands why the scraper goes to Sci-Hub even though MSU subscribes to the downloaded journals. For his own research on the linguistic structure of scientific discourse, Hart-Davidson obtained more than 100 years of biology papers the hard way—legally with the help of the publishers. “It took an entire year just to get permission,” says Thomas Padilla, the MSU librarian who did the negotiating. And once the hard drive full of papers arrived, it came with strict rules of use. At the end of each day of running computer programs on it from an offline computer, Padilla had to walk the resulting data across campus on a thumb drive for analysis with Hart-Davidson.

Yet Sci-Hub has drawbacks for text-mining research, Hart-Davidson says. The pirated papers are in unstructured PDF format, which is hard for programs to parse. But the bigger issue, he says, is that the data source is illegal. “How are you going to publish your work?” Then again, having a massive private repository of papers does allow a researcher to rapidly test hypotheses before bothering with libraries at all. And it’s all just a click away.

WHILE ELSEVIER WAGES a legal battle against Elbakyan and Sci-Hub, many in the publishing industry see the fight as futile. “The numbers are just staggering,” one senior executive at a major publisher told me upon learning the Sci-Hub statistics. “It suggests an almost complete failure to provide a path of access for these researchers.” He works for a company that publishes some of the most heavily downloaded content on Sci-Hub and requested anonymity so he could speak candidly.

For researchers at institutions that cannot afford access to journals, he says, the publishers “need to make subscription or purchase more reasonable for them.” Richard Gedye, the director of outreach programs for STM, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, disputes this. Institutions in the developing world that take advantage of the publishing industry’s outreach programs “have the kind of breadth of access to peer-reviewed scientific research that is pretty much the equivalent of typical institutions in North America or Europe.”

And for all the researchers at Western universities who use Sci-Hub instead, the anonymous publisher lays the blame on librarians for not making their online systems easier to use and educating their researchers. “I don’t think the issue is access—it’s the perception that access is difficult,” he says.

“I don’t agree,” says Ivy Anderson, the director of collections for the California Digital Library in Oakland, which provides journal access to the 240,000 researchers of the University of California system. The authentication systems that university researchers must use to read subscription journals from off campus, and even sometimes on campus with personal computers, “are there to enforce publisher restrictions,” she says.

Will Sci-Hub push the industry toward an open-access model, where reader authentication is unnecessary? That’s not clear, Harvard’s Suber says. Although Sci-Hub helps a great many researchers, he notes, it may also carry a “strategic cost” for the open-access movement, because publishers may take advantage of “confusion” over the legality of open-access scholarship in general and clamp down. “Lawful open access forces publishers to adapt,” he says, whereas “unlawful open access invites them to sue instead.”

EVEN IF ARRESTED, Elbakyan says Sci-Hub will not go dark. She has failsafes to keep it up and running, and user donations now cover the cost of Sci-Hub’s servers. She also notes that the entire collection of 50 million papers has been copied by others many times already. “[The papers] do not need to be downloaded again from universities.”

Indeed, the data suggest that the explosive growth of Sci-Hub is done. Elbakyan says that the proportion of download requests for papers not contained in the database is holding steady at 4.3%. If she runs out of credentials for pirating fresh content, that gap will grow again, however—and publishers and universities are constantly devising new authentication schemes that she and her supporters will need to outsmart. She even asked me to donate my own Science login and password—she was only half joking.

For Elbakyan herself, the future is even more uncertain. Elsevier is not only charging her with copyright infringement but with illegal hacking under the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. “There is the possibility to be suddenly arrested for hacking,” Elbakyan admits. Others who ran afoul of this law have been extradited to the United States while traveling. And she is fully aware that another computer prodigy–turned-advocate, Aaron Swartz, was arrested on similar charges in 2011 after mass-downloading academic papers. Facing devastating financial penalties and jail time, Swartz hanged himself.

Like the rest of the scientific community, Elbakyan is watching the future of scholarly communication unfold fast. “I will see how all this turns out.”

Correction (28 April 2016): “Andrew Schwartz” has been corrected to “Andrew Swartz.”

Excessive empathy can impair understanding of others (Science Daily)

Date:
April 28, 2016
Source:
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, JMU
Summary:
People who empathize easily with others do not necessarily understand them well. To the contrary: Excessive empathy can even impair understanding as a new study conducted by psychologists has established.

Excessive empathy can impair understanding as a new study conducted by psychologists from Würzburg and Leipzig has established. Credit: © ibreakstock / Fotolia

People who empathize easily with others do not necessarily understand them well. To the contrary: Excessive empathy can even impair understanding as a new study conducted by psychologists from Würzburg and Leipzig has established.

Imagine your best friend tells you that his girlfriend has just proposed “staying friends.” Now you have to accomplish two things: Firstly, you have to grasp that this nice sounding proposition actually means that she wants to break up with him and secondly, you should feel with your friend and comfort him.

Whether empathy and understanding other people’s mental states (mentalising) — i.e. the ability to understand what others know, plan and want — are interrelated has recently been examined by the psychologists Anne Böckler, Philipp Kanske, Mathis Trautwein, Franca Parianen-Lesemann and Tania Singer.

Anne Böckler has been a junior professor at the University of Würzburg’s Institute of Psychology since October 2015. Previously, the post-doc had worked in the Department of Social Neurosciences at the Max Planck Institute of Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig where she conducted the study together with her co-workers. In the scientific journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, the scientists present the results of their work.

“Successful social interaction is based on our ability to feel with others and to understand their thoughts and intentions,” Anne Böckler explains. She says that it had been unclear previously whether and to what extend these two skills were interrelated — that is whether people who empathise easily with others are also capable of grasping their thoughts and intentions. According to the junior professor, the scientists also looked into the question of whether the neuronal networks responsible for these abilities interact.

Answers can be gleaned from the study conducted by Anne Böckler, Philipp Kanske and their colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig within the scope of a large-scale study led by Tania Singer which included some 200 participants. The study enabled the scientists to prove that people who tend to be empathic do not necessarily understand other people well at a cognitive level. Hence, social skills seem to be based on multiple abilities that are rather independent of one another.

The study also delivered new insight as to how the different networks in the brain are orchestrated, revealing that networks crucial for empathy and cognitive perspective-taking interact with one another. In highly emotional moments — for example when somebody talks about the death of a close person — activation of the insula, which forms part of the empathy-relevant network, can have an inhibiting effect in some people on brain areas important for taking someone else’s perspective. And this in turn can cause excessive empathy to impair social understanding.

The participants to the study watched a number of video sequences in which the narrator was more or less emotional. Afterwards, they had to rate how they felt and how much compassion they felt for the person in the film. Then they had to answer questions about the video — for example what the persons could have thought, known or intended. Having thus identified persons with a high level of empathy, the psychologists looked at their portion among the test participants who had had good or poor results in the test about cognitive perspective-taking — and vice versa.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the scientists observed which areas of the brain where active at what time.

The authors believe that the results of this study are important both for neuroscience and clinical applications. For example, they suggest that training aimed at improving social skills, the willingness to empathise and the ability to understand others at the cognitive level and take their perspective should be promoted selectively and separately of one another. The group in the Department of Social Neurosciences in Leipzig is currently working on exactly this topic within the scope of the ReSource project, namely how to specifically train different social skills.


Journal Reference:

  1. Artyom Zinchenko, Philipp Kanske, Christian Obermeier, Erich Schröger, Sonja A. Kotz. Emotion and goal-directed behavior: ERP evidence on cognitive and emotional conflictSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2015; 10 (11): 1577 DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsv050

N.F.L.’s Flawed Concussion Research and Ties to Tobacco Industry (New York Times)

The National Football League was on the clock.

With several of its marquee players retiring early after a cascade of frightening concussions, the league formed a committee in 1994 that would ultimately issue a succession of research papers playing down the danger of head injuries. Amid criticism of the committee’s work, physicians brought in later to continue the research said the papers had relied on faulty analysis.

Now, an investigation by The New York Times has found that the N.F.L.’s concussion research was far more flawed than previously known.

For the last 13 years, the N.F.L. has stood by the research, which, the papers stated, was based on a full accounting of all concussions diagnosed by team physicians from 1996 through 2001. But confidential data obtained by The Times shows that more than 100 diagnosed concussions were omitted from the studies — including some severe injuries to stars like quarterbacks Steve Young and Troy Aikman. The committee then calculated the rates of concussions using the incomplete data, making them appear less frequent than they actually were.

After The Times asked the league about the missing diagnosed cases — more than 10 percent of the total — officials acknowledged that “the clubs were not required to submit their data and not every club did.” That should have been made clearer, the league said in a statement, adding that the missing cases were not part of an attempt “to alter or suppress the rate of concussions.”

One member of the concussion committee, Dr. Joseph Waeckerle, said he was unaware of the omissions. But he added: “If somebody made a human error or somebody assumed the data was absolutely correct and didn’t question it, well, we screwed up. If we found it wasn’t accurate and still used it, that’s not a screw-up; that’s a lie.”

These discoveries raise new questions about the validity of the committee’s findings, published in 13 peer-reviewed articles and held up by the league as scientific evidence that brain injuries did not cause long-term harm to its players. It is also unclear why the omissions went unchallenged by league officials, by the epidemiologist whose job it was to ensure accurate data collection and by the editor of the medical journal that published the studies.

In 2013, the N.F.L. agreed to a $765 million settlement of a lawsuit in which retired players accused league officials of covering up the risks of concussions. Some players have appealed the settlement, asking for an examination of the committee’s concussion research.

Dr. Joseph Waeckerle, speaking to quarterback Joe Montana in 1994, was the Chiefs’ team physician and a member of the N.F.L.’s concussion committee. CreditAssociated Press 

Some retired players have likened the N.F.L.’s handling of its health crisis to that of the tobacco industry, which was notorious for using questionable science to play down the dangers of cigarettes.

Concussions can hardly be equated with smoking, which kills 1,300 people a day in the United States, and The Times has found no direct evidence that the league took its strategy from Big Tobacco. But records show a long relationship between two businesses with little in common beyond the health risks associated with their products.

In a letter to The Times, a lawyer for the league said, “The N.F.L. is not the tobacco industry; it had no connection to the tobacco industry,” which he called “perhaps the most odious industry in American history.”

Still, the records show that the two businesses shared lobbyists, lawyers and consultants. Personal correspondence underscored their friendships, including dinner invitations and a request for lobbying advice.

In 1997, to provide legal oversight for the committee, the league assigned Dorothy C. Mitchell, a young lawyer who had earlier defended the Tobacco Institute, the industry trade group. She had earned the institute’s “highest praise” for her work.

A co-owner of the Giants, Preston R. Tisch, also partly owned a leading cigarette company, Lorillard, and was a board member of both the Tobacco Institute and the Council for Tobacco Research, two entities that played a central role in misusing science to hide the risks of cigarettes.

The N.F.L.’s concussion committee began publishing its findings in 2003 in the medical journal Neurosurgery. Although the database used in the studies contained numerical codes for teams and players, The Times decoded it by cross-referencing team schedules and public injury reports.

The N.F.L.’s concussion studies have faced questions since they were published, but even the league’s harshest critics have never suggested, and no evidence has ever arisen, that the underlying data set could be so faulty.

“One of the rules of science is that you need to have impeccable data collection procedures,” said Bill Barr, a neuropsychologist who once worked for the Jets and who has in the past criticized the committee’s work.

By excluding so many concussions, Mr. Barr said, “You’re not doing science here; you are putting forth some idea that you already have.”

The Work Begins

In an introduction to the first of the concussion committee’s papers, the league’s commissioner at the time, Paul Tagliabue, acknowledged the need for “independent scientific research” to better understand the risks of concussions.

“As we looked more deeply into the specific area of concussions, we realized that there were many more questions than answers,” Mr. Tagliabue wrote.

The committee’s chairman, Dr. Elliot Pellman, the team physician for the Jets, emphasized that his group aimed to produce research that was “independent” and “meticulous.”

In fact, most of the dozen committee members were associated with N.F.L. teams, as a physician, neurosurgeon or athletic trainer, which meant they made decisions about player care and then studied whether those decisions were proper. Still, the researchers stated unambiguously — in each of their first seven peer-reviewed papers — that their financial or business relationships had not compromised their work.

The committee said it analyzed all concussions diagnosed by team medical staffs from 1996 through 2001 — 887 in all. Concussions were recorded by position, type of play, time missed, even the brand of helmet.

The committee’s statements emphasized the completeness of the data.

“It was understood that any player with a recognized symptom of head injury, no matter how minor, should be included in the study,” one paper said.

And in confidential peer-review documents, the committee wrote that “all N.F.L. teams participated” and that “all players were therefore part of this study.”

Those statements are contradicted by the database.

The Times found that most teams failed to report all of their players’ concussions. Over all, at least 10 percent of head injuries diagnosed by team doctors were missing from the study, including two sustained by Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet, who retired several years later after more concussions. Dr. Pellman, the Jets’ physician, led the research and was the lead author on every paper.

Read the whole text here.

A nova partícula que pode mudar o que sabemos sobre o Universo (BBC Brasil)

Da BBC Mundo – 21 março 2016

 

Reuters

Se for confirmada a existência de uma nova partícula, especialistas acreditam que poderá ser aberta uma porta para um mundo ‘desconhecido e inexplorado’ (Reuters)

O Grande Colisor de Hádrons (LHC, na sigla em inglês) – um acelerador de partículas gigantesco que fica na fronteira entre a França e a Suíça – causou fortes emoções entre físicos teóricos, uma comunidade que geralmente é muito cautelosa quando se trata de novas descobertas.

O motivo: “batidinhas” detectadas pelo Grande Colisor de Hádrons. Essas batidas, evidenciadas nos dados que resultam da aceleração dos prótons, podem sinalizar a existência de uma nova e desconhecida partícula seis vezes maior do que o Bóson de Higgs (a chamada “partícula de Deus”).

E isso, para o físico teórico Gian Giudice, significaria “uma porta para um mundo desconhecido e inexplorado”.

“Não é a confirmação de uma teoria já estabelecida”, disse à revista New Scientisto pesquisador, que também é trabalha na Organização Europeia para Investigação Nuclear (CERN).

A emoção dos cientistas começou quando, em dezembro de 2015, os dois laboratórios que trabalham no LHC de forma independente registraram os mesmos dados depois de colocar o colisor para funcionar praticamente na capacidade máxima (o dobro de energia necessária para detectar o Bóson de Higgs).

Os dados registrados não podem ser explicados com o que se sabe até hoje das leis da física.

Depois do anúncio desses novos dados foram publicados cerca de 280 ensaios que tentam explicar o que pode ser esse sinal – e nenhum deles descartou a teoria de que se trata de uma nova partícula.

Alguns cientistas sugerem que a partícula pode ser uma prima pesada do Bóson de Higgs, descoberto em 2012 e que explica por que a matéria tem massa.

Outros apresentaram a hipótese de o Bóson de Higgs ser feito de partículas menores. E ainda há o grupo dos que pensam que essas “batidinhas” podem ser de um gráviton, a partícula encarregada de transmitir a força da gravidade.

Se realmente for um gráviton, essa descoberta será um marco, porque até hoje não tinha sido possível conciliar a gravidade com o modelo padrão da física de partículas.

Extraordinário?

Para os especialistas, o fato de que ninguém conseguiu refutar o que os físicos detectaram é um sinal de que podemos estar perto de descobrir algo extraordinário.

“Se isso se provar verdadeiro, será uma (nota) dez na escala Richter dos físicos de partículas”, disse ao jornal britânico The Guardian o especialista John Ellis, do King’s College de Londres. Ele também já foi chefe do departamento de teoria da Organização Europeia para a Investigação Nuclear. “Seria a ponta de um iceberg de novas formas de matéria.”

Mesmo com toda a animação de Ellis, os cientistas não querem se precipitar.

AFP

Image captionEsta nova partícula seria seis vezes maior que o Bóson de Higgs (AFP)

Quando o anúncio foi feito pela primeira vez, alguns pensaram que tudo não passava de uma terrível coincidência que aconteceu devido à forma como o LHC funciona.

Duas máquinas de raios de prótons são aceleradas chegando quase à velocidade da luz. Elas vão em direções diferentes e se chocam em quatro pontos, criando padrões de dados diferentes.

Essas diferenças, batidas ou perturbações na estatística são o que permitem demonstrar a presença de partículas.

Mas estamos falando de bilhões de perturbações registradas a cada experimento, o que torna provável um erro estatístico.

Porém, o fato de que os dois laboratórios tenham detectado a mesma batida é o que faz com que os cientistas prestem mais atenção ao tema.

Boas notícias

PA

O Grande Colisor de Hádrons volta a funcionar nesta semana

Além disso, recentemente os cientistas dos laboratórios CMC e Atlas apresentaram novas provas depois de refinar e recalibrar seus resultados.

E nenhuma das equipes pôde atribuir a anomalia detectada a um eventual erro estatístico.

São boas notícias para os especialistas que acreditam que essa descoberta seja o início de algo muito grande.

O lado ruim é que nenhum dos laboratórios conseguiu explicar o que é esta misteriosa partícula. São necessárias mais experiências para qualificar o evento como um “descobrimento”.

O lado bom é que não será preciso esperar muito para ver o fim da história.

Nesta semana, o Grande Colisor de Hádrons sairá de seu período de hibernação para voltar a disparar prótons em direções diferentes.

Thinkstock

Uma das hipóteses é que esta nova partícula estaria relacionada com a gravidade (Thinkstock)

Nos próximos meses o colisor oferecerá o dobro de informação em comparação ao que os cientistas têm até agora.

E se estima que, em agosto, eles poderão saber o que é essa nova e promissora partícula.