Continuing our ICCB 2015 roundup, here are a few more impressions from the conference…
There was a HUGE Oceania presence. Not only is the President of the global organisation an Oceanian but also the Editors in Chief of both Conservation Letters and Conservation Biology. i.e., the Australians are taking over!
I loved the diversity of the conference topics. This is why SCB is my favourite conference. There was a big session on conservation marketing, multiple sessions on evaluation and conservation evidence (which I think were among the best attended). At multiple points during the conference I heard the phrase “we need both the social and natural sciences to solve conservation problems”, including from James at the conference opening. While this might induce sighs of exasperation from people who have been saying this for a long time, I felt like it was a really promising and encouraging sign that the masses are not only recognising that conservation biology is not just biology, but the many sessions on evaluation, marketing etc. demonstrated that this shift is in full swing.
The conference was popular on Twitter, so popular at one stage that the #ICCB2015 hashtag attracted spambots and porno tweets (a sure sign of success, yes?). In contrast to what has happened at other conferences, where many people were extremely annoyed about their policy of “no tweeting unless permission is explicitly stated”, the ICCB tweet policy was “tweet unless no tweeting explicitly stated”.
From Carina Wyborn, SCBO board member and researcher with the Luc Hoffman Institute:
The highlight for me was the diversity of participants and presentations, a pretty boring statement to make about a conference really, but I felt like there were some very interesting conversations going on where people were asking the right questions about whether or not we are doing the right thing in conservation, and starting to realise that it maybe isn’t just about doing more and better science but that we need to start from a different and more inclusive place.
It feels like the number of people having that conversation has grown over the years of SCB conferences that I’ve been going to, and at this one, those sessions were better attended than any I’ve seen in the past.