Ecological Grief And Why Scientists Need To Be Allowed To Cry

Defender Radio Podcast 706 Ecological Grief And Why Scientists Need To Be Allowed To Cry

Tim Gordon is an Exeter University PhD student working on some fascinating solutions to help fish on coral reefs in Australia using sound. As cool as this research is, that’s not what brought Tim’s work to my attention: it was a short letter published in the journal Science. Titled, Grieving environmental scientists need support, Gordon co-wrote the letter with colleagues Andrew Radford and Stephen Simpson. It is a call for cultural change in the scientific community. Researchers are witnessing the loss of ecosystems and species, something that can cause anyone to experience grief. But traditionally, scientists are considered impartial and dispassionate observers. This dissonance can be outright harmful, and Gordon and his colleagues believe the scientific community must begin discussing and addressing these problems – or as he puts it, allowing scientists to cry.

Tim joined me all the way from the northeastern coast of Australia to share his views on the subject, his personal efforts to live with the heavy emotions he feels working on the great barrier reef as its existence hangs in the balance and, because I was curious, how he’s helping Nemo find his way home.

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