What We’re Reading- July 14, 2017

Words Matter
A thought provoking opine which asks scientists if we’re being too careful with our words?  The authors discuss how the use of euphemisms to describe environmental challenges, scientific results, and interpretation/recommendations undermines conservation objectives, specifically of changing human behaviors.  They also challenge scientists to understand how we internalize euphemisms to justify our work and conservation recommendations.  *A must read paper*

Celebrities as Conservation Messengers
We love celebrities that bring light to conservation and climate issues such as Leonard DiCaprio (climate awareness), Prince William (wildlife trafficking), and Kristin Davis (elephant poaching).  So we were definitely interested in this new paper (open) that evaluated the effectiveness of celebrities to deliver conservation messages.  The authors observed that people wanted to engage with the celebrity delivered content more than than content from a subject matter expert.  Yet, people retained the conservation message better from the expert than the celebrity.  The study has implications for science communication, specifically that it is hard to get a message to breakthrough in a saturated media market and that evaluation is critical.

Evolution on YouTube
Wondering how to get more evolutionary science in your life?  Check out videos from the recent Evolution meeting on YouTube.  Lots of cool evolution in wildlife species and a few with a conservation focus.

Side photo of the endangered tree Holywood lignum (Guaiacum santum) by David Stang via ARKive has nothing to do with today’s articles, but it’s pretty.


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