Publishing certain scientific findings can harm endangered species

Two Australian biologists, specialists in endangered species, invite their research colleagues to limit the dissemination of certain data in order to protect animals from poachers and traffickers.

Publish or perish : in the world of research, the formula summarizes the terrible pressure on scientists. Without regular attendance in specialized journals, no credits and little advancement. Almost professional death. Two Australian biologists, specialists in endangered species, however, invite to review the formula. In the journal Science, they call on their colleagues to think carefully before releasing details of their work. In summary: not to publish so as not to destroy the most fragile.

David Lindenmayer and Ben Scheele of the Australian National University of Canberra are aware that they are reversing a cardinal principle of science. For nearly four centuries, the publicity of discoveries has been the cornerstone of the construction of truth and its spread. Without transparency, no verification or knowledge sharing. The new means of communication have made information more accessible than ever, “with many advantages, such as improving the repeatability of works and increasing collaborations,” the two researchers write. “But this accessibility also creates major problems for the conservation of endangered species,” they add. Clearly, “Informations that are supposed to help the protection of species is actually fostering illegal actions that undermine diversity. “

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