Moose live in fields, humans live in trucks

Addressing the audience: There are some very consistent trends in that I’ve noticed from the quest lecturers for the NRESi colloquim. Among the most important common features is defining the key terms that may have other meanings, given that some terms have different meanings to different authors. The other trend I’ve noticed is that the best ones have a sense of humor, and find a good way to tell a story. I think that Dr. Rae’s presentation was one of the best I had the pleasure  of seeing all semester, but one of the things that haunts me is the apology he made to the NRES crowd.

Roy aimed to apologize for including “racisms” in the title of his talk. Now in this context Roy is using “racism” to describe the narrow selecting process for plant material that is replanted after a clear cut occurs. In a human context racism has a much more bloody and aggressive history and so I can see why it may be considered offensive. I honestly don’t think that the apology he gives is misplaced, I just didn’t like that he threw one of the session chairs under the buss for a comment of similar social disregard. I think it’s very important that humor is incorporated into a talk, and that presenters own up when lines are crossed, but I think that responsibility should be up to the one who does the talking, not fellow colleagues.

One of the things that most impressed me about Roys presentation was his incorporation of government policy into the presentation. Roy informs/reminds the audience that in the 1990s a study indicated the effects of herbicides on broad leaf species. Later on when Roy introduces his findings and it comes to the types of changes he thinks are important for preserving the preferred food sources of moose, he takes a very passive stance. I think that making statements on governance is probably very challenging for scientists who get funding from industry, but I think that Roy carried a good tone when addressing the changes industry needed to make.