AAAS contest:
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, which is the mother organization for the journal SCIENCE is holding a contest.  What they are looking for is free websites that offer educational material.

Although what I am doing with this site is about research and not advice – the state of the field is not really ready to offer advice – it can be considered education.  I am only to a limited degree offering my own work.  Mostly I explain the work of other people and connect the dots.  Then I try to let you know.

So I am entering the contest.  Twelve winners will get a chance to explain their educational sites through the course of next year.  So wish me luck.  They were willing to accept up to three letters of recommendation in support of the site.  I didn’t send them any.  If you would like to write such a letter, let me know.  Maybe they will accept an addendum.  Meanwhile this is what I told them:

It is well established from peer reviewed articles that fertility in humans as in other animals is determined primarily by mating pool size, with a restricted pool being necessary for adequate fertility.  This fact is almost unknown to the general population and to scientists.  Politicians will not fund relevant research until there is public pressure.  The public will not know until the media tell them.  The media will not speak until science speaks.  The purpose of this web site is to educate scientists as well as members of the public in order to break this cycle of ignorance and indifference.  I present all the information I have and write personal letters to experts in the various related fields to call their attention. 

The evidence cited on the site includes studies of field counts of animals, human demographics, publicly available demographic statistics, a computer simulation, archeological reconstruction of community sizes changing over time and standard historical references. 

Other ways to educate a broad swathe of the population exist.  The Unibomber tried one.  But they are beyond my capability.  For effectiveness, this is the best I can do.  Publishing a scientific article is standard, but that has been done; despite multiple papers, there is no ongoing scientific debate.  So that did not work either.  I have made a 10 minute movie which I hope to post on UTube.  But after having given away dozens of copies to those who could take an interest, and although the copies can be copied, that has not taken on a life of its own either.  I have tried newspapers, but they have been reluctant even to offer information as paid advertisements.  On the other hand, interest in the web site has been increasing steadily according to the site statistics. 

As any alert adult should know fertility is declining worldwide and the cause is not widely understood.  Limiting family size by choice is the usual explanation, but that only accounts for 43% of the fertility decline in Africa and there is no evidence that it is the leading cause elsewhere. 

Severe infertility can be a disaster both on a personal and a global scale, so the importance of this cannot be overstated.  There is simply no other issue anywhere that is so critical nor so pressing.  Yet so far as I know this web site is the only one trying to bring attention to bear on the relationship between gene pool size and fertility. 

This site deserves recognition for being an honest effort to teach and a noble attempt to help even though it may appear to be a fool’s errand.  Having a chance to address this issue in SCIENCE could provide the crucial exposure to gain public awareness, political funding for research and a good enough understanding of the science for action to be proposed. 

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