Southern Fiddler Ray

These stingrays are found at the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium. Children are encouraged to touch them as they swim along.

[Video: Loop of a Southern Fiddler Ray swimming in a shallow human-made pool]

Source: The Other Sociologist.

Why Ecology and Environmental Science is Everyone’s Business

I’ve summarised one of our Science on Google+ Hangouts on Air. Our guests discussed three fascinating fields of ecological study: air quality; marine life; and extreme weather events.

Our most recent Science on Google+ Posterside Hangout on Ecology and Environmental Science was excellent and well worth watching in full. It highlighted the intersections between climate change the social consequences of environmental damage. The presentations covered the measurement of air quality; disease outbreak amongst fish; and the relationship between extreme thunderstorms and global warming. Below I give a detailed summary of the points I was most interested in as a social scientist (I will do the same for our previous hangouts).

I urge you to watch the presentations in full and comment on the talks from your perspectives. I am particularly interested in different social science reactions to these talks: how can we make a contribution to weather and marine sciences using the ecological frameworks and methods described by the presenters?

Environmental advocacy is truly an interdisciplinary endeavour that requires both critical public debate and empirical solutions. This includes improved data collection and innovative responses that connect scientific theory to social policy and practice. A collaborative and proactive approach to climate change is not assured. Australia recently changed Government and one of the first tasks our new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, put into effect was to dismantle the Climate Change Commission, which was led by eminent scientist Tim Flannery. (Thankfully the work continues thanks to crowd-source funding.) Abbott also removed the position of Science Minister (along with other adverse social policy shifts). Climate change policies in some other countries are in a better state, but many nations remain reactionary to environmental disasters. For these reasons, ecology and environmental science require our full participation.

Continue reading Why Ecology and Environmental Science is Everyone’s Business

#VisualSociology of the #Western #suburbs of #Melbourne: Canning Reserve, Avondale Heights. Okay so Avondale is technically a Northern municipality but it’s a stone’s throw from Maribyrnong. This photo is of the giant #steel #fish, the Seychelles Blenny. It featured on Australia’s 10 cent #stamp in 2003 and a sculpture of it was used in the 2006 #Olympics ceremony in Melbourne. #sociology #Australia