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Events

Event 

Title:
Dangerous Ideas in Zoology
When:
02.11.2013
Where:
Australian Museum - Sydney
Category:
Forum

Description

 

Dangerous Ideas in Zoology

 

Saturday, 2 November 2013.     8.30 am - 5.00 pm.

 

Venue: Australian Museum, corner of William and College Streets, Sydney.  Enter via William street.

 

NOTE: THIS IS A DIFFERENT VENUE TO PREVIOUS YEARS.

 

Have you ever had a dangerous zoological thought, something you thought people might think is too crazy to publish? Has some dangerous zoological ideology ever made your blood boil? Have you ever wondered why no one is discussing dangerous zoological ideas? The Royal Zoological Society of NSW’s 2013 forum is a forum of dangerous zoological ideas, whether they are right, wrong or irreverent.

 

A dangerous idea is one that is not quite “right”- perhaps because it is an idea that’s stuffing up science or conservation, or because it’s an idea that ought not be discussed in polite zoological company, or because its’ an idea that is not yet backed by a well-replicated field experiments, but you know it makes sense and could change things for the better.

 

This year’s forum was inspired by the 2006 online forum run by The Edge (and later published), which posed this question: 

 

"The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time…. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true.” 

 

This forum opens the concept of dangerous zoological ideas to encompass three interrelated themes: ideas with dangerous consequences; ideas that are dangerous to zoology and conservation; and ideas that are dangerous and daring (sensu Dawkins 1996). 

 

Dangerous ideas can be game changers, ones that challenge the status quo, and zoological ideas that are innovative and inspired can at first seem a little crazy. Consider these recently published examples: dingoes serve a conservation role; reversing extinction through new genetic techniques; and urban wildlife will open a new door to conservation action and involvement. 

 

This forum tackles also ideas that are bad ideas, ones that are becoming entrenched dogma or ideas that are growing in popularity which, if adopted, will undermine progress in zoology and conservation. Some examples include the extreme animal rights position, systematic winding down of government funding to basic institutions, such a museums, and funding of research into conservation problems where zoologists are the most likely specialists to find answers. 

 

The forum also canvasses ideas that are uncomfortable to discuss, but with potentially profound implications. These are “ideas where an imaginable train of events in which acceptance of the idea could lead to an outcome recognized as harmful” (Stephen Pinker 2006). This is thinking the unthinkable zoological thoughts. This forum presents a raft of ideas and the world needs lots more. 

 

What ideas are you nurturing? Will this forum provide the trigger to articulate them? Do come along and join in, listen to the ideas on the day, and add your nascent idea to the plenary sessions so that others can see the scope of the value of having a dangerous idea.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL PROGRAM 

CLICK HERE FOR REGISTRATION FORM 

We have a great line up of presenters from across Australia including Mike Archer (UNSW) Corey Bradshaw (Adelaide), Euan Ritchie (Deakin), Charely Krebs (Canberra/ UBC), Rob Close (UWS), Paul Adam (UNSW), Ian Wallis (ANU), Peter Fleming & Guy Ballard (DPI), Cameron Webb (Sydney), Mike Calver (Murdoch), Dan Faith (Aust Mus) 

 

Venue

Venue:
Australian Museum
Street:
College St
ZIP:
2000
City:
Sydney