While putting resources into science, including ecology, is of course a
wonderful, necessary, and valuable thing, assuredly supporting our own
families with our presence, time, and energy (and societal resources) is at
least as wonderful, necessary, and valuable. Indeed, as many benefits as
flow from science and science funding, we know that having strong families
and communities makes everyone better off, ceteris parabus, and having
strong families and communities requires time and resource investment from

Even granting the proposition that we in the US produce the "best and most
successful scientists in the world", all accounts indicate that we certainly
don't produce the highest average of "happy and most secure and successful
families in the world." We have a *lot* of those, but alas, our median is
likely much lower than our mean, and both are likely behind countries like
those Andres analyzed. So much of what so many are lacking are basic needs,
connections, support networks, and resources, something depending as much or
more on good and participatory governance than new scientific discovery--we
need more time for more participation outside our work and research, not less.

On 4/27/12 10:22 AM, "David L. McNeely" <mcnee...@cox.net> wrote:

This is not meant as a wet blanket, as I encourage family friendly
employment practices for all countries and for all occupations.  But, I
wonder how those figures would look if all areas of science were
considered?  It may be that smaller economies, and the Scandinavian
countries in particular, put a greater fraction of their available
resources for scientific research into ecology than do larger economies
and non-Scandinavian countries.  Is U.S. science more diversified than
Finnish or Icelandic science?

David McNeely

---- Andres Lopez-Sepulcre <lopezsepul...@gmail.com> wrote:
Since we're at it, it did the same calculation for all four countries
ranked first in gender equality by the Global Gender Gap Report. All
four, as far as I remember, provide generous paternity leaves that
guarantee job security and can be shared between mother and father.
ISI indexed publications in Ecology per capita (countries ranked in
order of 'gender equality index')
Iceland: 1167
Norway: 1794
Finland: 1500
Sweden: 1361
Not only do these countries do significantly better in ecology 'per
capita' than the less family-oriented scientific powerhouses (e.g.
USA: 650, UK: 660), but it almost seems that if anything, their
ranking in the gender equality index is correlated with their
productivity, not an 'impediment' ... safe for Iceland, but do
remember that Iceland suffered the largest financial collapse in world
history in these last 5 years.
Even when this small sample and oversimplified analysis is not proof
of anything, I hope it can change peoples' perceptions that countries
that have increased social welfare, gender equality and more
protective labour laws are less productive.
Andres Lopez-Sepulcre
Laboratoire d'Ecologie, UMR 7625
Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris
On Apr 27, 2012, at 6:43 PM, Cecilia Hennessy wrote:
PERFECT response, thank you so much!  If we Americans could stop
patting ourselves on the back long enough to realize that other
countries have successful ways of doing things too, maybe we could
learn from international example and progress more efficiently.

On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 7:48 AM, Andres Lopez-Sepulcre
> wrote:
"...however, why should the USA modify the system producing among
the best and most successful scientists in the world..."

I would simply like to add a quick clarification. I struggled with
how to respond to this US-centric statement. There is no doubt that
the USA is a scientific powerhouse and I have wonderful things to
say about my experience as a scientist there, which has brought me
wonderful collaborations I hope last long. However I am not sure it
is fair to compare a country of over 300 million inhabitants with
another of 5 (Finland). In fact, I took the liberty do do a quick
search in Web of Science for articles in the area of 'Environmental
Sciences and Ecology' for both countries in the last 5 years. USA
showed 204,414 in front of 8,119 Finnish articles indexed in ISI. If
one thinks 'per capita', the USA has produced 650 indexed articles
in ecology per million inhabitants, while Finland has produced
1,500. With this I do not mean to say that Finland is better or
worse... but just to show that, when the comparison is done
'fairly', maternity leaves do not seem to be hampering Finnish
ecology. Productivity can be achieved without equality and social
welfare suffering.

Andres Lopez-Sepulcre
Laboratoire d'Ecologie, UMR 7625
Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris


On Apr 12, 2012, at 6:52 PM, Amanda Quillen wrote:

"...however, why should the USA modify the system producing among
the best and most successful scientists in the world..."

Cecilia A. Hennessy
PhD Candidate
Purdue University
715 W. State St
Pfendler Hall, G004
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061
lab: 765-496-6868
cell: 574-808-9696

David McNeely

M. Jahi Chappell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Justice
School of the Environment
Faculty Affiliate, Center for Social and Environmental Justice
Faculty Affiliate, Program in Public Affairs
Washington State University Vancouver
Vancouver, WA 98686

Tel: (360) 546-9413
Fax: (360) 546-9064
Faculty Page: http://directory.vancouver.wsu.edu/people/michael-chappell
Chappell Lab: http://agroecopeople.wordpress.com/
Email: m.jahi.chapp...@vancouver.wsu.edu

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