Ideas for Sustainability

By Joern Fischer

“Simply put, the era of data-intensive science is here. Those who step up to address major environmental challenges will leverage their expertise by leveraging their data. Those who do not run the risk of becoming scientifically irrelevant.”

Hampton et al., 2013, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (p. 158)

I just read Hampton et al.’s new paper in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, entitled “Big data and the future of ecology”. In a nutshell, the paper encourages ecologists to more routinely share their data. The underlying premise is that data sharing will lead to bigger and better (or at least additional) insights, because there are large amounts of small datasets that – if widely shared – would allow more effective quantitative analyses using lots of those small datasets in a big way. Other disciplines, according to Hampton et al., are ahead of ecology in sharing their…

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