During the 50th Anniversary Symposium of the Ecological Society of America, Dean David Ackerly spoke about ecophysiology, a discipline that studies the adaptation of organisms to their environmental conditions. While his talk was originally titled “Unity and Diversity in Plant Function: Classic Papers in Ecophysiology,” Ackerly changed his topic to address the current focus on social justice issues.
The speech covered race, society, and the history of ecophysiology, touching on Alexander Humboldt, Andreas Schimper, and Charles Darwin, as well as their influence on the history of science and implications for race and racism. Ackerly also spoke about the need for increased diversity in the field, and he encouraged the new generation of environmental students to continue to change the face of ecology.
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