In The Field

Walking the talk

Conservation biology—unlike other sciences—has an explicit agenda. Its practitioners want to conserve the subjects and ecosystems they study. So when they convene they convene green. This year for the first time the SCB offered delegates the opportunity to pay a bit extra to carbon-neutralize their conference attendance. 97.3% chose to do so.

In addition, the conference bags are attractively woven of sedge by rural women. Each delegate is issued one mug to be used at all coffee breaks. The full program is on CD only. Finally, many delegates appear to be saving water and energy by wearing the same clothes to the meeting every day. Or it could be that their clothes are still flying around the world in the belly of some 767. At least one poster at the session was replaced by a sign saying “Sorry, British Airways has my poster” and I am aware of at least one portable PCR machine sitting in the airline lost and found.

Included in those sedge conference bags? A mini bottle of South African liquor and an AIDS awareness kit including a condom. Well, what are conferences for?


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