Going public: scientific advocacy and North American wildlife conservation

James A. Schaefer, Paul Beier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


By conventional standards, modern wildlife science is a success, but our ability to convey complex technical matters to the public and other decision-makers could be more effective. Hunting in North America epitomizes these successes and shortcomings. The observations and samples from hunters support science, but there is a gap in understanding and communicating with scientists. Because threats to conservation are accelerating, scientists need not only to make wildlife science accessible to non-scientists but also to engage in translating science into policy. To be effective conservationists, scientists should articulate their policy preferences, invite non-scientists to question the scientific rationales for action, become comfortable with making policy recommendations under uncertainty, patiently repeat their messages and build respectful relationships with the uncommitted and with open-minded opponents. Conservation concerns both good science and human choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-437
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Conservation
  • Media
  • Outreach
  • Public communication
  • Science
  • Wildlife

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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