Something for the weekend #24

My round-up of the week’s causes for optimism, discussions of optimism/pessimism gap, and debunkings of optimism/pessimism, as noticed in the media.

* There’s a new free, open-access, searchable database that brings together many once-promising leads on new antibiotics from the past 50 years. Leads which have – for various reasons – stalled or been dropped. But which may now be worth another look.

* President Trump’s Presidential Message on Space Exploration Day.

* Dan Hannan: There’s a reason politics isn’t for optimists. Hannan usually talks a whole lot of sense, but here he enthusiastically cites the very questionable psychology paper I blogged about a few weeks ago.

* “Common Dolphins Back in the Adriatic” reports Croatia Week. “Decades after common dolphins disappeared from the Adriatic, in recent years large groups have been starting to appear again.”

* How Africa is winning the battle to save its mountain gorillas.

* A new academic forecast paper, “From Bottleneck to Breakthrough: Urbanization and the Future of Biodiversity Conservation”. On current trends… “conservation practice has the potential to transform itself from a discipline managing declines (‘bottleneck’) to a transformative movement of recovery (‘breakthrough’).”


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