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Guilty Planet

Guilty Planet

Cooperation, conservation, and technology.
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    Jennifer Jacquet Jennifer Jacquet ( is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia researching cooperation and the tragedy of the commons. Follow on Twitter @guiltyplanet.
  • The chimpanzee and the whale: two recent views

    “Research on chimpanzees is contentious, expensive, and of increasingly limited necessity,” wrote medical researchers in a piece titled “Guiding limited use of chimpanzees in research” published last week in the journal Science. This same sentence could have introduced an article published in this week’s Nature – with the word ‘Whaling’ replacing the phrase “Research on [...]

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    Infinite Balance: Nature and Human Nature

    It’s not true that aesthetics must be be compromised for meaning. I visited the excellent Infinite Balance: Artists and the Environment show at San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts earlier this week, which features the shortlist for the Prix Pictet contest, the world’s top (and only? I ask myself) prize for photography and sustainability. The [...]

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    Christmas Google Trends

    Finding Nemo Isn’t Easy: Film’s Stars Threatened with Extinction

    One in every six species related to characters in the movie Finding Nemo is threatened by extinction, according to a new study out today. The authors examined the extinction risk of 1,568 species within 16 families of well-known marine animals represented in the 2003 Academy Award-winning animated film. All species of marine turtles (“Squirt” and [...]

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    Shifting Baselines: The Past and the Future of Ocean Fisheries

    We cannot ignore the past, and to remind us of this, the present has yielded a refreshing and essential perspective on marine science in the new book Shifting Baselines: The Past and Future of Ocean Fisheries. Looking at today’s data is simply not good enough, especially when the abundance of reef fish has declined 90-95% [...]

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    The Best Blazer (and the Year’s Best Books)

    Today the New York Times put out their list of the top ten books of 2011. Among them, Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, which is a remarkable read about how the human mind works and necessary material for anyone, anywhere, period. To go with the piece, the Times constructed a blazer [...]

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    When Crabs Throw Their Claws in the Air, They Wave Them Like They Care

    Male fiddler crabs (Uca annulipes) try to get the ladies by waving their one big claw. Females prefer fast wavers, which is a lot of work (see some examples in the videos below). A new study shows that males are willing to wave harder when there is competition. In a study published last month in [...]

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    Google Trend: Tryptophan

    Oil Pipeline Protesters Surround the White House Today

    Some people, like Joe Romm, want more coverage on climate change. For me, climate change is one of those subjects that I actually try to ignore. I am often silently thankful that I do not have to stare at a headline about one of the most crushing subjects of our time in the morning. Reading [...]

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    Treats Not Tricks: Scientists Favor Research about Reward over Punishment

    We call it ‘trick or treat’ but we all know the chances are much higher of getting treats on Halloween night. Similarly, it seems that scientists have a higher probability of publishing research about reward rather than research about punishment. I queried ‘reward’ and ‘punishment’ in the following databases of academic literature: Google Scholar, Scirus, [...]

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