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For the third Porcupine! in succession, we have Feedback on the front-page article of the previous issue. This time it is from Michael Lau, disagreeing with much of what I said in my "Empty forest" piece in May. Of course, I think I was right and Michael is wrong or, at least, I was righter and he is wronger, since we are not in complete disagreement. No doubt, Yvonne feels the same about Keith Wilson's comments on her "Irresponsible Fishery" article in the December issue, and I am not in complete agreement with Keith's response to "The Bad Biodiversity" before that. But now the Porcupine! readership has a choice of two informed opinions on all three issues. No doubt there are more opinions out there. Conservation is not physics and there is a lot of room for honest disagreement about both the facts and their interpretation. The front page is one of the privileges of editorship, but we would like to encourage both the contribution of more opinion pieces on conservation issues in Hong Kong and more Feedback about what we do publish. Conservationists in Hong Kong have tended to avoid public disagreement, for fear that this will provide an excuse for government inaction. However, suppressing differences of opinion is just as likely to result in wasted money and effort. I would mention Long Valley as an extreme example of this... but I am saving it for a future front page!

Richard T. Corlett


Fame at last!

Contributors will be pleased to know that many Porcupine! articles are now indexed in Zoological Record, a database of zoological literature published by BIOSIS and the Zoological Society of London.



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