Marc André Sélosse

Biologist, professor and researcher, president of Biogée, columnist at France Inter

1. 85% of citizens have an unsatisfied need for nature, how do you assess our relationship with nature and living things in 2021?

Our relationship with nature has become more complex. Indeed, we have moved from a biology of the visible to a world of the infinitely small and the infinitely large. As regards the infinitely small, viruses for example, our understanding is less intuitive than that of what we see, even though they are part of nature. In the infinitely large there is biodiversity, evolution, ecosystems. It is more diffuse and ineffable than it used to be, and therefore it creates a distance, and sometimes even a lack of understanding. It is difficult today to understand all of nature, especially from the city.

2. According to your opinion, what should be done to reconnect with nature?

Several things should be done:

a) The natural world should be taught more actively. Today, the share of life and earth sciences is insufficient. We cannot understand what we have not been made aware of.

b) Moreover, there is a clear lack of interdisciplinarity, in education as in journalism or politics. Many natural objects would benefit from a cross-disciplinary approach. For example, biological competition allows for a better understanding of economic competition and vice versa; sustainable development requires reasoning from life sciences, history and geography, etc. We need to develop a holistic, integrative vision of our environment and of nature - let's open up the disciplines.

c) Finally, as far as consumption is concerned, we need a system of labels and labelling that is more relevant, precise and clear. When I go shopping in the supermarket, it is difficult for me to know where it comes from, how it was made and at what cost, human or ecological. Eating a product whose origin is known, especially a local product, is a first step towards reconnecting with nature. Because yes, it is our credit card that determines the climate and the management of nature. Our purchasing and consumption actions are essential to reclaim the nature that surrounds us.

3. You have just launched the "BioGée" Federation to promote life and Earth sciences. What actions will you put in place to help citizens reconnect with the natural and life sciences?

It is a federation of academies, scientific societies, associations of journalists and companies (, which also brings together personalities from the scientific and media world. We are going to carry out a threefold action around the life sciences and the environment:

a) Tribunes dans des journaux sur des sujets liés à nos disciplines, tel que pourquoi la biologie est-elle devenue une affaire de formation citoyenne,

b) Lobbying pour favoriser l’apprentissage de nos disciplines dès l’école primaire, pour former les citoyens de demain et rendre leurs choix informés, sinon responsables.

c) L’organisation de journées annuelles thématiques dans une ville qui sera bientôt annoncé ; la prochaine (1-3 avril 2022) sera par exemple consacrée à la ville comme lieu de nature.

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