The event


La Baita, Conguillio National Park, Chile

19-23 February 2024

This ANdinA workshop, the sixth in a series of international debates, aims to redefine the responsibilities and obligations that ecological scientists and researchers should have toward society and nature. We expect to bring together 30 international researchers, at least one third of whom are in their early scientific career (doctoral and post-doctoral researchers), to think critically, walk, and reflect in nature, to actively define our roles as socially responsible ecologists. This unique walk-shop will take place in the beautiful landscapes of the Conguillio National Park in Chile in February 2024.

The challenge

As ecologists, we are motivated by a curiosity for the natural world, and a shared belief that our collective actions are necessary for the well-being of our planet. Through our skills and knowledge, we are capable of co-creating solutions to environmental challenges based on a scientific understanding of ecological systems. We currently possess more data about the natural world than we have at any other point in history. At the same time, our natural world is going through its worst crises: we are facing the sixth mass extinction, rapid biodiversity loss, all compounded by the climate emergency. Our earth and society urgently need our help. 

Traditionally, the role of ecological science has been to avoid policy-making and activism. It is becoming more and more difficult to ignore the ecological crisis we are facing and the political decisions leading to it. In public health and medicine, it is the role of the physician to publicly speak up if political decisions are made against scientific recommendations with harmful impacts to society, yet ecologists often maintain a professional detachment from public issues. As ecological researchers, we are largely funded by society and our funding agencies have expectations for their investment. Like any other members of society, we are prone to biases and opinions based on our own social and political opinions. We make mistakes; however we have poorly developed systems to manage this or to remediate problems.

This leads to questions such as: How can we be more effective in preventing further deterioration of the natural world in light of the ecological knowledge our discipline has gathered? What should our role as ecological researchers be? Is it sufficient to only engage in research and effective communication, or should we be taking a more disruptive role in driving change? How should professional ecological societies challenge the traditional roles of their members and their collective voice in decision-making? How can we work more effectively with other stakeholders?

Join us

Join us in this critical, self-reflective and dynamic discussion with ecologists from around the world to answer these urgent questions and create a proclamation of ecologists and ecology for a social revolution. We anticipate writing a meaningful publication and planning further work together. The price for everything (attendance, accommodation, meals, local transport) is US$1400 for established scientists and US$600 for early career researchers. Get in touch with Roger Cousens for any questions and to make your application to attend.

ANdinA is an informal global network of ecologists, it is non-profit and not affiliated with any society or organisation.