Coral Scientists on the Brink
Conservation is the art of cultivating—here, that means cultivating both corals and hope for the future. The book’s conclusion begins with a description of two art-science collaborations and then moves to review the main themes of the book. It highlights that alongside the story of correlation, complexity, and wonder, Coral Whisperers has also told another story: a story about the polarized state of the scientific community that studies corals. Coral scientists from around the world emerge here not only as harbingers of doom and as messengers of hope but also, perhaps more importantly, as humans facing an existential crisis. The conclusion ends with a discussion of the 2017 documentary Chasing Coral, emphasizing that the journey from ephemeral optimism that can’t besustained to deeper iterations of hope that emerge on the brink of despair and exasperation requires a leap of faith. In the midst of their enormous pain and loss, coral scientists emerge to guide conservationists—and us all—through the perils of the Anthropocene.
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