skip to content

Conservation Research Institute


The Illusive Quest for Science to Make a Difference, Wednesday 4 March 2020, 5pm, DAB

Professor Ruth DeFries | Denning Professor of Sustainable Development, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University 

Many ecologists and earth system scientists are heeding the rallying-cry to use their science to make a difference.  But how precisely to do so and whether scientists can actually influence decisions are not easy questions.  This lecture will discuss some possible strategies and pitfalls, drawing from the presenter’s trials with various approaches including tools and methods for decision support about fires and deforestation in the Amazon and Southeast Asia and attempts at deep engagement in the central India landscape.  Key characteristics to make a difference include collaboration with those who can use the information, a realistic theory of change, and evaluation of effectiveness. A Cambridge Conservation Initiative Seminar Series Lecture followed by drink reception.

Register Here

The Tellus Mater Distinguished Fellowship is managed by the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute in cooperation with the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust. 

Wednesday, 4 March, 2020 - 17:00 to 18:00