Balancing research and service to decision makers
Each one of us became an ecologist for reasons that are personal and entangled in our individual histories. Like many researchers, our fascination with the planet's living things, their habitats, and the processes that link them inspired us to choose careers as ecologists and climate scientists over anything else. Many of our colleagues are fortunate to spend their entire careers studying nature, generating knowledge by doing science, as academics or otherwise. But whether the scientific focus is on fires or frogs, lemurs or landscapes, there is an increasing need not just for pure science, and not just for applied science, but for translational science. Society benefits from knowing how the world works. And on a rapidly changing planet, scientists increasingly bear a responsibility to present science in ways that are directly useful for, and are even produced with, those who face decisions in complex, real-world situations.