Do you use forums in your work?

5/29/2013 9:35 AM

We're trying to develop a useful forum for the High Mountains community of practice to use for discussion and collaboration. Do you currently use other forums in your work? If so, which ones?'s picture
I subscribe to Mountain Forum but rarely check any emails received. They do not contain useful information for me. A big problem with forums including Mountain Forum is that rarely good science appears there. It does serve as an important platform to share information about events, conferences etc but when it comes to science and state of climate change, most of the information comes from all kinds of non-peer reviewed sources. Frankly, I never pay any attention to that. Climate change is a crisis discipline but contrary to conservation (at species level), we do have a solid foundation of facts and science. We have to rely on hard core science and strong evidence while telling our stories. The so called conservation institutions have done enough damage to the discipline by propagating untested ideas or drawing sweeping conclusion based on "some evidence" of something. Take the example of shame IPCC faced a couple years ago, and how multiple agencies played important role in making the completely wrong information land in IPCC report. Another problem is there is just too much recycling of information resulting in too many emails every week. The forum people should understand that they have to respect readers time. A reader pays attention to their emails in the hope that the message is true and important. Very very often, the postings fail in both tests. Fewer emails with quality materials would be a better way to go. Having 10,000 subscribers is not same as having 10,000 readers. As I said, I never read MF emails but do receive them. Another suggestion is that publishers and authors always can be nicer to readers by spending time in illustrations to tell their stories. Illustrations can deliver information many times more effectively than text. People are much more likely to look at illustrations than read text. And, finally, stories need enough scientific and social context. That not just helps a reader to understand the context, it also helps reader to judge the quality of the information against the established body of literature. I would prefer to see stories like the ones in New Scientist. Regards, Kumar Mainali