About this Research Topic
As the biodiversity crisis continues to deepen, calls for an overhaul of conservation science have emerged. Traditionally, conservation was a discipline focused on studying the biology and ecology of populations, individual species, multi-species assemblages, and ecosystems. It has since broadened to recognize the important skills experts from a range of disciplines provide to conserving biodiversity. More recently, some are arguing that summoning compassion for individuals is needed to transform the meaning of conservation and the relationships between conservationists and the natural world. This transformation includes allowing for compassion to permeate conservation practice, from the conduct of individuals to the policies and institutions that govern conservation actions.
The role of compassion in conservation is currently a matter of significant debate. Our vision for this Frontiers Research Topic is to create a space where a collection of interdisciplinary views and perspectives can be collated to offer a synthesis to guide future research directions and inform practice. Conservation science is a relatively young field and might benefit from the conceptual and empirical progress made in more foundational disciplines.
We solicit contributions from fields as diverse as psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, biology, medicine, and law, in so far as they explicitly address the relationships between human cognition, emotion, attitudes, behavior, and decision making and how this relates to the practice of compassion. This may be in the form of conceptual clarifications and developments, empirical or modeling research, or practitioner frameworks. At this stage, we are not soliciting Opinion or Perspective pieces.
We are particularly interested in contributions that explain or highlight how other fields (e.g. medicine, the military) deal with moral dilemmas where the rights of, and compassion for, individuals may have to be traded off against societal benefit or the common good. All contributions should highlight the relevance of the work to conservation science (in a broad sense). The guest editors are available to work with authors from other disciplines to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and provide direction to ensure a good fit with the journal and special section.
The overall aim for this Frontiers Research Topic is to contribute to existing dialogues, encourage new collaborations, and raise novel challenges.
Keywords: conservation, ethics, moral dilemma, compassion, decision making
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.