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Biocultural approaches combining local values, knowledge, and needs with global ecological factors provide a fruitful indicator framework for assessing local and global well-being and sustainability, and help bridge the divide between them.
Adélie penguins are a key Antarctic indicator species, but data patchiness has challenged efforts to link population dynamics to key drivers. Che-Castaldo et al. resolve this issue using a pan-Antarctic Bayesian model to infer missing data, and show that spatial aggregation leads to more robust inference regarding dynamics.
Cao et al. demonstrate that people systematically rely on social base rates when making judgements about individuals, even when these base rates are statistically irrelevant. The authors show that multiple remedies are required to eliminate this bias of base rate intrusion.
Punishment by peers can enforce social norms, such as contributing to a public good. Here, Abbink and colleagues show that individuals will enforce norms even when contributions reduce the net benefit of the group, resulting in the maintenance of wasteful contributions.
The study by Gómez et al. of frontline fighters and non-combatants shows that a willingness to fight and die in intergroup conflict is associated with the sacrifice of material concerns for sacred values, and the perceived spiritual strength of in-groups and adversaries.
Research has shown that people dislike inequality. However, in a cross-cultural experiment, Zhou and colleagues show that, from a young age, people are unwilling to redistribute resources between individuals if this reverses an existing hierarchy.
To enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from changes in climate, engagement between the users and the providers of climate information needs to be much more effective and should better link climate information with decision-making.
Science, by its nature, is open to uncertainty and interpretation, but politicization — fuelled by motivated reasoning and advances in the technological environment — is leading to a new level of science scepticism among citizens and scientists themselves. What can be done to address these crises?
The pernicious problem of evidence complacency, illustrated here through conservation policy and practice, results in poor practice and inefficiencies. It also increases our vulnerability to a ‘post-truth’ world dealing with ‘alternative facts’.