July 1: Emotions in Scientific Work and Scientific Creativity

The sociology of emotions and the sociology of science arose concurrently (circa 1975-present), but connections between these subfields have been rare. Existing research pleads for greater integration and contextualization. This talk will synthesize and critically assess eight decades of research on emotional aspects of science. Taken together, extant literature indicates that emotions pervade science as a practice, profession and social institution. Emotions support the ability to perceive and observe empirical patterns and relationships, and to make specific types of knowledge claims. They are elemental facets of scientists’ career evaluations and work life, and their influence on the research process informs and consequentially impacts the form and content of scientific knowledge. Collective emotional states and affective relationships are also essential for scientific collaboration and for fomenting large-scale collective action in the form of scientific social movements. Finally, emotions gave original impetus to science as a distinctive social institution, and continue to support it by acting as agents of social control in the scientific community. Overall, research on emotions and science is rapidly emerging as a generative area of research in its own right, and has the potential to significantly advance general sociology.

Dr. John Parker

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Looking for hotspots while the world gets hotter: multi-species genetic data inform landscape-scale conservation in the face of climate change in the San Joaquin Desert of California.

Global climate change can create patterns of biodiversity where once-widespread species become restricted to small islands of persistence, commonly called climate refugia. Species can subsequently recolonize the intervening spaces between the islands, masking the historical range restriction. Advances in molecular genetic technology now allow us to see the signature of these historical restriction events. In our ongoing study of desert vertebrates in the San Joaquin Valley, we are layering patterns of population subdivision from multiple species into a composite map of historical population centers. We have significant population subdivison as well as pattern concordance among some species, suggesting past refuges in the Panoche Hills and the Carrizo Plain. A parallel study projecting the distribution of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard following the current climate change event shows both spots as potential refugia, suggesting the tantalizing possibility that contemporary hotspots may serve as future redoubts.


Michael Westphal
Bureau of Land Management
Hollister Field Office, CA

IPCC, Oceans and a 2°C warming target

Next month, the global science community will come together ahead of the COP21 of the UNFCCC in December to discuss the key issues concerning climate change. Discussion will include a focus on the ocean. The ocean is critical to life on Earth through its regulation of atmospheric gases, stabilisation of planetary heat, and provision of food and resources to well over 4 billion people worldwide. I will start with a peek at the processes for the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC, including the roles of the authors, editors and expert reviewers, coordination across chapters and working groups and assessment of the literature. AR5 included a number of oceans chapters for the first time, which identified serious risks to marine ecosystems, fisheries, and coastal livelihoods. Focusing on these, I’ll discuss the key findings, updating with recent knowledge, with particular reference to the 2°C global warming target.

Elvira Poloczanska
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, Brisbane, Australia
Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

CSIRO Hobart -    - photo by Bruce Miller 4/2008

CSIRO Hobart – – photo by Bruce Miller 4/2008


Extending risk and cumulative impacts assessment to include life stage considerations

Roundtable for next week will be presented by Emma Hodgson, a graduate student in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle.


Marine species are experiencing a suite of novel stressors from anthropogenic activities that have impacts at multiple scales. Ecological risk assessment is commonly used to judge the consequence of novel stressors to species, but usually without consideration of the life history of organisms. Most marine species vary throughout their life history in their spatio-temporal distributions in the water column, their responses to external pressures, and their level of contribution to the population overall. Better incorporating our understanding of those differences between life stages provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of the consequences of stress at the population level. This work advances approaches to ecological risk assessment and cumulative impacts assessment by explicitly incorporating life stage exposure, sensitivity, and importance to population growth rate.

Emma in the wild

Emma in the wild