I want to dedicate my March’ article in this blog to two very distinguished scientists in the fields of ecology and ecological economics, an Andalusian and a Catalan. Both are well-known by most CREAF researchers, but the awards are a good excuse to explain their astonishing trajectories.
The use of the term 'resilience' has been extended. But success entails risks. When dealing with complex concepts encapsulated in a word, the risk translates into confusion. It is therefore worth entertaining the passage and meditate for a while.
In the prizes to the trajectory of a scientist, people say , the hardest is to begin, because after the first award, the winner can be pretty sure that others will come. Maybe, but there are different categories of prizes. Josep Peñuelas is starting to get the big ones, those that he deserves by his contributions to ecology, his dedication and his ability to empathize in order to establish fruitful relationships with scientists all around the world.
In 1966, the USA’s President is Lyndon Johnson, in the USSR it is Brezhnev, in France de Gaulle, in India Indira Gandhi. There is an increasing US involvement in Vietnam’s war (and an increasing refuse of war inside the US).
Let's come back to 1916. The World War I is raging (Battle of Verdun and the Somme). Germany is in search of its ‘lebensraum’, an empire like that England and France already have. We recall the Great War today with the terrible images of Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, Monicelli’s The Great War, Losey’s King and country, Renoir’s La grande illusion, and many other films.
When I studied the subject of ecology at the University of Barcelona, about the years 1964-65 (fifty years ago!), Margalef was our teacher. Even though he was still not a university professor but the director of the Fisheries Research Institute of the CSIC (now Institute of Marine Sciences) where he concentrated his research. The ecology classes were at the building of the University Square, the practices at the Institute.