Many companies choose to keep their views and positions private. It’s good business…you offend no one, and you take everyone’s money. Thankfully, MiniWaters doesn’t care about your money as much as we care about having some guiding principles. As a result, we can share the core values behind what we do, and we hope you’ll respect us even more, regardless of whether you agree or not!
An Adhearance to Science
If there is one thing that we believe anyone should learn from keeping life in glass boxes, it’s an appreciation for science.
Science is a process for obtaining knowledge, cultivating wisdom, and divining truth from fiction. One of the most fundamental principles of science is that when new data refutes earlier beliefs, those assumptions or positions must be refined. To change one’s views in the light of new evidence is not a sign of weakness or being flawed, it is the fundamental tenet of good science.
In the past few years, the very notions of fact and science have come under assault, and it is truly perplexing to reconcile that anyone participating in the aquarium and vivarium hobbies would so readily separate themselves from a foundation of fact and science.
Consider that everything we know about how to care for the life we treasure stems from scientific understandings. The basic chemistry of a reef aquarium or planted freshwater tank is tied to science at its very core. In the glass box hobbies, facts are facts, and science determines the path forward. We figure out how to be better aquarists, better gardeners, better animal caretakers, through the application of science. Sure, it could be said that there is an “art and science” to the keeping of life in glass boxes, but the “art” is one of aesthetic choices and instincts developed through practice and experience….all still rooted in science and fact when you distill it down to the core.
Remember the scientific aspect of these hobbies when you’re confronted with positions that run counter to good science in your daily life. Science literally is responsible for the smartphone in your hand, or the laptop on your desk, that you’re using to read these words. It seems downright foolish to hop onto social media and post off anti-science viewpoints when the very platform you’re using would not exist were it not for science!
With this in mind, MiniWaters shares a concern for the future of our planet in the face of undeniable climate change. MiniWaters also embraces the complex realities of wild fisheries and the benefits that can arise from sustainable harvest. Too often, emotion wins out over science in our society, to the detriment of clear thinking and smart decision making.
If there is anything you should take away from your glass box hobby, it’s a deeper appreciation for science’s role in our daily lives. Remember that science is not absolute, but science requires critical thinking as well, and a healthy bit of skepticism at times.
We hope you remember the lessons of patience and data. These are lessons that every first-time aquarist must learn while waiting for ammonia and nitrite tests to show “0 ppm” results before adding the 2nd installment of fish to a new aquarium, or a vivarium builder discovers if they introduce the plants too soon, before the silicone has had a chance to fully cure!
Remember the warning of confirmation bias…you may want those tests to show zero, you may want to put the plants in today, but you must rely on critical thinking, and the tests (or your nose) to tell you what’s really going on.
And with all of this comes a bit of Occam’s Razor and common sense…the simplest explanation is often the right reason. For example: anyone who paid attention in school was instructed that oil is a finite resource on our planet. At some point, we are going to run out of it. Therefore, no matter what you might “believe” in terms of climate science, the undeniable reality is that our global economy and way of doing things must come to grips with the reality that oil is going to run out.
As a result, the only sensible thing to do is plan for that reality, now, by looking to sustainable and renewable alternatives. If we do, our planet wins, regardless of the motivation.
How does MiniWaters Support Science?
One of the most important things that MiniWaters does is to periodically donate to MASNA’s Dr. Junda Lin Memorial Fund for Publishing Open Access Marine Aquarium Research.
Yes, we’re currently only “Bronze” level sponsors as of early 2021, but we keep chipping away, every year, getting ever closer to that “Silver” level! Helping to support open-access science publishing is one small way where we can have a real-world impact on the ability for scientists to freely share their findings to the benefit of everyone.