Biological Bias

We've talked about rats and crazy bugs this summer and today, the plant world has our attention. More specifically, invasive plants and the debate among biologists over how best to deal with them when they threaten to take over native ecosystems.

Today's guest host was Jim Brown.

Part One of The Current


It's Thursday August 4th.

President Barack Obama is celebrating his 50th birthday today.

Currently, in lieu of gifts, the President is asking Americans for a small donation to his favourite charity: The U.S. government.

This is The Current.

Biological Bias

As invasive species go, Killer Tomatoes would have to be at the top of the heap. If it weren't for the fact that they only existed in a gloriously awful 1970's science fiction film.

In real life, most ecologists view invasive species as serious -- if less existential -- threats and with good reason. Plants and animals such as Asian Carp, Zebra Mussels and European Water Chestnuts have done some serious damage to native species, even whole ecosystems.

But according to Matt Chew, that approach to invasive species is wrong-headed and even dangerous. He's from the Center for Biology and Society at Arizona State University. And he's one of a group of 19 people who signed an article in the journal Nature that argues for a much less confrontational approach. Matt Chew was in Tempe, Arizona. And Dr. Jim Carlton is a Professor of Marine Sciences at Williams College, and Director of the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program. He was in Mystic, Connecticut.

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