When Science is the Buzzkill

List member Stephen Wood, an applied scientist at The Nature Conservancy, sent this response to yesterday’s email (thanks to Stephen for allowing me to quote him):

Your post touches on an issue we struggle with a science group I lead: there’s lots of excitement about [what we’re working on], but many of the practices that people are excited about aren’t substantiated by much evidence.

The Research is the MacGuffin

I have a client who knows his audiences — the precise officers in the specific corporations, multilateral lenders, global and national agencies, and NGOs — that he wants his ideas and research to reach.

Dream client.

His shop turns out highly technical research relevant to the business and planning of these audiences.…