What good is a CSIRO division of wildlife research anyway?

Charles Krebs

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

    Abstract

    Wildlife research has few immediate economic consequences, and over the last 10-20 years has collapsed as a serious research program within Australia's premier research organization, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization (CSIRO). In spite of great public support for biodiversity and for Australia's iconic fauna, higher levels within CSIRO and both federal and many state governments have failed to provide adequate funding. I explore here some possible explanations based on my personal observations. The underlying causes are not confined to Australia, and lie deep in the psyche of politicians and managers who view science as a business that generates values measured only in dollars. A consequence of this economic world view is a fixation on economic growth rather than ecosystem well-being. The result in Australia is that wildlife research is being left to the states and the universities, augmented by private funding through foundations that care about the environment. Long-term, large-scale research questions are not being addressed, and organized and systematic monitoring for biodiversity impacts on a continental scale is nearly absent in Australia. Short-term ecological research is valuable and the contributions of the universities here are excellent, but in light of anticipated climate change we need to adopt a longer vision for understanding our iconic wildlife and the ecosystems that they inhabit.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationScience under Siege: Zoology under Threat
    EditorsP Banks, D Lunney, C Dickman
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherRoyal Zoological Society of New South Wales
    Pages5-8
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)9780980327274
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Fingerprint

    Commonwealth of Nations
    biodiversity
    government and state
    ecosystem
    economics
    research program
    fixation
    economic growth
    wildlife
    fauna
    climate change
    monitoring

    Cite this

    Krebs, C. (2012). What good is a CSIRO division of wildlife research anyway? In P. Banks, D. Lunney, & C. Dickman (Eds.), Science under Siege: Zoology under Threat (pp. 5-8). Australia: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.
    Krebs, Charles. / What good is a CSIRO division of wildlife research anyway?. Science under Siege: Zoology under Threat. editor / P Banks ; D Lunney ; C Dickman. Australia : Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, 2012. pp. 5-8
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    Krebs, C 2012, What good is a CSIRO division of wildlife research anyway? in P Banks, D Lunney & C Dickman (eds), Science under Siege: Zoology under Threat. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Australia, pp. 5-8.

    What good is a CSIRO division of wildlife research anyway? / Krebs, Charles.

    Science under Siege: Zoology under Threat. ed. / P Banks; D Lunney; C Dickman. Australia : Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, 2012. p. 5-8.

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

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    PY - 2012

    Y1 - 2012

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    AB - Wildlife research has few immediate economic consequences, and over the last 10-20 years has collapsed as a serious research program within Australia's premier research organization, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization (CSIRO). In spite of great public support for biodiversity and for Australia's iconic fauna, higher levels within CSIRO and both federal and many state governments have failed to provide adequate funding. I explore here some possible explanations based on my personal observations. The underlying causes are not confined to Australia, and lie deep in the psyche of politicians and managers who view science as a business that generates values measured only in dollars. A consequence of this economic world view is a fixation on economic growth rather than ecosystem well-being. The result in Australia is that wildlife research is being left to the states and the universities, augmented by private funding through foundations that care about the environment. Long-term, large-scale research questions are not being addressed, and organized and systematic monitoring for biodiversity impacts on a continental scale is nearly absent in Australia. Short-term ecological research is valuable and the contributions of the universities here are excellent, but in light of anticipated climate change we need to adopt a longer vision for understanding our iconic wildlife and the ecosystems that they inhabit.

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    Krebs C. What good is a CSIRO division of wildlife research anyway? In Banks P, Lunney D, Dickman C, editors, Science under Siege: Zoology under Threat. Australia: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. 2012. p. 5-8