Paper prescribes mindfulness for scientists facing burnout, hopelessness

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Monday, May 22, 2023 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2023 - 9:01am
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During the pandemic, health officials encouraged people to send up a flare when burnout and hopelessness were becoming too much. Recently, scientists facing other, more persistent crises — climate change and biodiversity loss — did exactly that.

They write slogans about changing the world; but there are no jingles or posters about confronting intransigent leaders about deeply politicized issues with solutions that may come too late, all while being treated as a public enemy.

But that's what conservation scientists often face, and what drove some of them to seek out ASU's Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience.

The center's advice, published in the journal Society for Conservation Biology, involves cultivating equanimity, gratitude, hope and mindfulness, not only to overcome hopelessness and burnout, but to develop empathy and avoid the defensive rigidity that can arise from feeling persecuted and ignored.

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