BECC yearly meeting
An exciting, interesting and well-visited BECC annual meeting went off October 17-18 at Falkenberg Grand Hotel. The program was filled with lessons from the past and implications for the future regarding biodiversity conservation and policy. The meeting ended with perspectives from a climate journalist and his great tips on how to communicate climate research to the public (and journalists!).
The first part of the program belonged to invited speakers Chris Doughty (Arizona) and Catalina Pimiento (Swansea), and BECC-researcher Sören Faurby (Gothenburg), who gave us insights about whether the past can provide us with the keys to the future. Chris research focuses on terrestrial megafauna and how they e.g. affect the spreading of nutrients and of the climate, while Sören’s on hominins as a driver of extinctions. Catalina gave us insights to the functional consequences of extinctions of megafauna coupled to climate change. Both Catalina and Sören provided us with stories and statements that reminded the child in each of us that we should not be afraid to use the argument that a species should be preserved because they are cool and wonderful, not just because they provide services to humans.
For the second part of the program, invited speakers Tom Oliver (Reading) and Jane Ogilvie (RMBL & Chicago Bot. Gard.), gave us insights about implications of climate change on the future (biodiversity), and reminded us about that all species groups are not responding in the same way (e.g. butterflies and birds), and that data is still poor or restricted for many species. Using clear and lovely simple equations and working with citizen science is a good way if you want your research to reach the public (see above pictures). BECC-researcher Dan Metcalfe (Lund) talked about ‘the known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns’ - how research can be subjected to various biases and that researchers should always keep that in mind. Metcalfe also reminded the researchers that there is a lot of research out there that has never even been cited.
Finally, journalist Peter Alestig (Klimatkollen, Svenska Dagbladet) gave us an insight to his world and great tips “Scientists: be simple, clear, accurate, own your expertise, respect deadlines”, “…remember that journalists are just as scared of scientists as you are of us.” Another tips was to return to what first sparked the passion for science (e.g. in his case fiction as “Six Degrees”) when communicating research.
In the panel that followed, Peter Alestig led a conversation about research communication and engaging with media and the public together with Allison Perrigo (Gothenburg), Catalina Pimiento and Johan Ekroos (Lund).
The BECC meeting also ended up in Svenska Dagbladet in Swedish.
Visitors coming to this meeting and present interesting research and reflections on science communication
Members of discussion panels
The organisers of this meeting: Yann, Søren and Dan
Lina and Josefin for helping out with all sorts of things
All the participants for coming here and contributing to a very interesting meeting.