Making sense of climate change: orientations to adaptation

Timothy Lynam, Iain WALKER

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Good stories are hard to find in academic journals. In books we find them: thrilling accounts of voyage and discovery where characters take shape in our minds and perhaps even touch our hearts lest we leave them aside. Wade Davis’s account of Richard Schultes’s work in the Amazon is like that (Davis 1996). But emotions are not supposed to shape our science, the stuff we publish in journals. These crisp little gems of peer guaranteed truth should simply modify what we know and perhaps cunningly compel us to faithful reproduction of some meme or other. But move us to joy, frustration, or anger? Leave us empathizing with a particular character? No, that shouldn’t really happen. Just give us the briefest possible account and move on because that is what science is concerned with: the briefest possible account of reproducible facts. But underpinning every scientific paper are dozens of stories: of how the ideas formed; of how things were done and evolved; of how the papers and ideas therein came to take just that form; and of the people back there in the forensic scape of words, numbers, and images whose characters so infuse the science and the resulting papers but remain obscure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalEcology and Society
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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title = "Making sense of climate change: orientations to adaptation",
abstract = "Good stories are hard to find in academic journals. In books we find them: thrilling accounts of voyage and discovery where characters take shape in our minds and perhaps even touch our hearts lest we leave them aside. Wade Davis’s account of Richard Schultes’s work in the Amazon is like that (Davis 1996). But emotions are not supposed to shape our science, the stuff we publish in journals. These crisp little gems of peer guaranteed truth should simply modify what we know and perhaps cunningly compel us to faithful reproduction of some meme or other. But move us to joy, frustration, or anger? Leave us empathizing with a particular character? No, that shouldn’t really happen. Just give us the briefest possible account and move on because that is what science is concerned with: the briefest possible account of reproducible facts. But underpinning every scientific paper are dozens of stories: of how the ideas formed; of how things were done and evolved; of how the papers and ideas therein came to take just that form; and of the people back there in the forensic scape of words, numbers, and images whose characters so infuse the science and the resulting papers but remain obscure",
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doi = "10.5751/ES-08886-210417",
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Making sense of climate change: orientations to adaptation. / Lynam, Timothy; WALKER, Iain.

In: Ecology and Society, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2016, p. 1-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

TY - JOUR

T1 - Making sense of climate change: orientations to adaptation

AU - Lynam, Timothy

AU - WALKER, Iain

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

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AB - Good stories are hard to find in academic journals. In books we find them: thrilling accounts of voyage and discovery where characters take shape in our minds and perhaps even touch our hearts lest we leave them aside. Wade Davis’s account of Richard Schultes’s work in the Amazon is like that (Davis 1996). But emotions are not supposed to shape our science, the stuff we publish in journals. These crisp little gems of peer guaranteed truth should simply modify what we know and perhaps cunningly compel us to faithful reproduction of some meme or other. But move us to joy, frustration, or anger? Leave us empathizing with a particular character? No, that shouldn’t really happen. Just give us the briefest possible account and move on because that is what science is concerned with: the briefest possible account of reproducible facts. But underpinning every scientific paper are dozens of stories: of how the ideas formed; of how things were done and evolved; of how the papers and ideas therein came to take just that form; and of the people back there in the forensic scape of words, numbers, and images whose characters so infuse the science and the resulting papers but remain obscure

U2 - 10.5751/ES-08886-210417

DO - 10.5751/ES-08886-210417

M3 - Editorial

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JO - Ecology and Society

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SN - 1195-5449

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