Humility. It isn’t a word you often hear in connection with the fields of science or engineering, but IRIS researchers believe that it is of the utmost importance. In a recent plenary, IRIS Director of Inclusion and Equity, Dr. Amy Rosemond, touched on this theme at the International Society of Limnology (SIL) conference, held in Berlin this August.
“I used examples of longterm ecological experiments because in many cases, there are surprising outcomes, providing valuable insights into controls on ecological response,” Rosemond explained. “Surprise is a concept we need to embrace across society and our relationship to the environment, because big surprises about environmental change are typically not good or desired.”
Rosemond used a framework developed by IRIS researchers Don Nelson, Brian Bledsoe and Marshall Shepherd, (read the paper here) which advocates for adopting humility in the way we understand how we fit into nature, in engineering with natural infrastructure and in embracing climate model uncertainty.
“Humility broadens our expectations and helps us prepare for a greater range of environmental change that is predicted to occur,” Rosemond said.
With attendees from over 60 countries, her talk, titled “Ecological surprises and insights from large-scale stream experiments,” reached an audience from around the world.
Photo by Marc Kupetz