[MARMAM] Marine biology on a violated planet: from science to conscience

Giovanni Bearzi giovanni.bearzi at gmail.com
Sat Jun 6 09:38:10 PDT 2020

Dear colleagues,

the article below stems from my experience as a dolphin researcher:

Bearzi G. 2020. Marine biology on a violated planet: from science to
conscience. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics 20:1-13.

It is open access and freely available at:

ABSTRACT - Humanity¹s self-ordained mandate to subdue and dominate nature
is part of the cognitive foundation of the modern world--a perspective
that remains deeply ingrained in science and technology. Marine biology
has not been immune to this anthropocentric bias. But this needs to
change, and the gaps between basic scientific disciplines and the global
conservation imperatives of our time need to be bridged. In the face of a
looming ecological and climate crisis, marine biologists must upgrade
their values and professional standards and help foster the radical
transformation needed to avert a climate and ecological breakdown. To
prevent some of the damage, they must cross the imaginary line that
separates science from science-based activism and consciously pursue the
health and durability of human and natural communities. To this end, they
can (1) develop compelling narratives that engage human society, with
emphasis on care for the wild living world; (2) move beyond marine
conservation on paper and avoid self-serving complaisance; (3) advocate
constructive changes in market and human behaviour, not only by
documenting damage but also by clarifying how the extraction, production
and consumption system can be steered away from practices that harm
nature; (4) push for systemic change in politics through individual and
collective efforts, supporting environmental activism and those who demand
biosphere-saving policies; and (5) endorse a more ecocentric and holistic
world vision, relinquishing contempt for spiritual wisdom and liaising
with (or at least not dismissing) spiritual traditions that encourage
equality, self-restraint and environmental sustainability.

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Giovanni Bearzi

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