A second blogger in the Kopf family

RackMultipart20141107-9095-hmza8rOur son, Keller, and I have discussed writing over the years. As an academic biologist in Australia, Keller has written extensively about marine and freshwater fish for scientific journals. This year Keller ventured into the blogosphere and a discussion of policy matters. More on that in a moment.

The Conversation, Academic rigor, journalistic flair is a public blog that promotes informed discussion on important subjects of public interest. It has sites in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is a blog–really a journal–that features exchanges between experts in particular fields and informed lay people. The Conversation is funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alfred P Sloan Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The global publishing platform is funded by Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The Conversation is well worth reading on a frequent basis.

Now, back to Boyo.  As the first author, Keller, together with Nicole McCasker and Paul Humphries, wrote Why are there no true freshwater protected areas in Australia? In the article, Keller and his coauthors promote the idea of protecting Australia’s abundant and pristine freshwater ecosystems, primarily in the north of Australia, much as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the US-Canada border is protected.

Photo credit: Carole Mackinney pursuant to a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Australia’s north is home to many pristine rivers, but most national parks are focused on land-based conservation. The McArthur River at Borraloola, in the Northern Territories, is pictured.

Photo credit: Carole Mackinney pursuant to a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Australia’s north is home to many pristine rivers, but most national parks are focused on land-based conservation. The McArthur River at Borraloola, in the Northern Territories, is pictured.

The article received national attention in Australia and prompted interviews of Keller from radio stations across Australia. I think Keller was amazed that a small blog post could do what dense academic journal articles failed to do. That is, promote real change talk about scientific matters that Keller feels strongly about.

So, as the New Year approaches, I am pleased to say that we now have two bloggers in the family. But, I should not stretch that comparison too far. After all, Keller knows what he is talking about, while I might more properly be called a dilettante. Anyway, I hope Keller continues to devote some of his writing to public policy matters having to do with his area of expertise. If I do say so myself, he is good at it.

RGK

 

3 responses

  1. Congratulations to Keller on writing a successful and widely-noticed blog post on his area of interest. Perhaps father and son have at least some traits in common.

    Also, I think this is a good example of the value of blogs and more real-time commentary as compared to academic journals and law reviews. The subject of the
    usefulness of law review articles has recently been discussed in this blog and the same concerns likely apply to academic journals in the scientific fields. Glad
    to know that Keller reached out to the public and that his suggestions about protecting Australia’s freshwater ecosystems have been well-received.

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