Dans le cadre des midis de l’éthique du CRÉ, Virginie Maris nous offre une présentation intitulée « Predictive ecology and decision making ».
In this paper, I examine the epistemological basis of predictive ecology and how it is translated to decision-making. In the context of global changes and the current biodiversity crisis, the need to build a more predictive ecology is regularly debated in both the scientific literature and environmental policy. However, whether ecology is able to become a predictive discipline that could inform decision-making rests on many assumptions that have hardly been investigated. I propose to clarify the meanings of “prediction” and “being predictive” in ecology and argue that a major difference between two kinds of predictions should be clarified: 1) “corroboratory-prediction”, which is linked to the validation of theories; and 2) “anticipatory-prediction”, which is linked to the description of possible futures. Carefully distinguishing between the two kinds of prediction enables to better delineate and enhance the policy-relevance of ecology.