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Practice of conservation biology that does not actively and continuously question the values that shape it is self-defeating: Conservation biology is inescapably normative. Advocacy for the preservation of biodiversity is part of the scientific practice of conservation biology. If the editorial policy of or the publications in Conservation Biology direct the discipline toward an “objective, value-free” approach, then they do not educate and transform society but rather narrow the focus to the “object of knowledge” (be this species, gene pools, landscapes, or ecosystems). To pretend that the acquisition of “positive knowledge" alone will avert mass extinctions is misguided. Conservation biologists should reflect on the constitutive values (especially contextual, but also methodological and bias) underlying their research programs and policy recommendations. Such reflection is itself an inherent element of scientific objectivity and takes into account the social nature of scientific knowledge. Without openly acknowledging such a perspective, conservation biology could become merely a subdiscipline of biology, intellectually and functionally sterile and incapable of averting an anthropogenic mass extinction.

La practica de la biologia de la conservacion se autoderrota si no considera activa y continuamente las questiones de valores que la moldean. La biologia de la conservacion es inevitablemente normativa. Si la politica editorial de o las publicaciones en Conservation Biology conducen a la disciplina hacia una aproximacion “objetiva y libre de valores”, entonces no educa ni transforma a la sociedad y reduce el enfoque sobre el “objeto de estudio” (ya sea especies, pozas genicas, paisajes o ecosistemas). Es equivocado pretender que extinciones masivas se evitaran con la adquisicion del “conocimiento positivo” por si solo. Los biologos de la conservacion deben reflexionar acerca de los valores constitutivos (especialmente los contextuales, asi como los metodologicos o sesgos) que subyacen en sus programas de investigacion y recomendaciones. Tal reflexion es por si sola un elemento inherente a la objetividad cientifica que considera la naturaleza social del conocimiento cientifico. Al no reconocer tal perspectiva abiertamente, la biologia de la conseracion se volveria una mera subdisciplina de la biologia, intelectual y funcionalmente esteril e incapaz de evitar una extincion antropogenica masiva.