I also find it unacceptable that while I am receiving this award, elected members of the Catalan government and civil society leaders are being held in detention and that they and others are being threatened and prosecuted with draconian charges simply for standing up for basic rights through non-violent conduct.
Text de regraciament per la concessió del Premi Ciutat de Barcelona 2017 en Ciències de la Terra i Ambientals, 15 de febrer de 2018:
I am honored to receive this award from the City of Barcelona. The recognition from a government body that citizen scientists can help solve the problem of mosquito-borne disease is important and I thank the Barcelona Institute of Culture and the members of the jury for their work and their decision. I am especially happy to see this recognition from the city that I have come to love as my adopted home. The efforts of tens of thousands of Mosquito Alert volunteers have vastly improved our ability to understand and manage disease vector mosquitoes in Barcelona and throughout the region. I hope it will soon be possible to harness this energy around the world to stop the spread of diseases that burden hundreds of millions of people and drive poverty.
I thank, above all, my family. The work I have put into this project has been shared by my wife, Mireia Artigot, and our children, Emma and Albert, who have made it possible for me to devote time to it, and who have entered the world of mosquitoes and citizen science along with me, giving me ideas, enthusiasm and love. This work has been shared also by my parents-in-law, Maria Golobardes and Manel Artigot, who have made me feel at home in Barcelona and dedicated endless time to caring for our children. And it has been shared by my parents, Penny and David Palmer, who spent much their lives helping me be a citizen scientist myself.
Although I am convinced citizen science can play an important role in solving many of the world’s problems, I am under no illusions that it will be sufficient on its own. Citizen science is not a substitute for government commitment and action on environmental protection, public health, and social inequality, or government funding for research. It cannot, on its own, solve the massive environmental challenges we face, the retreat by states from human rights and refugee protection, or the alarming slip towards authoritarianism and fascism in states around the world – including those with which I am most connected: the United States and Spain. What is needed in the face of these problems is not only citizen science but citizen engagement more broadly. We need people to stand up to governments and demand that their rights and the rights of others be respected – and we need governments to listen and respond with dialog instead of threats and violence. In that regard, I absolutely reject the Trump administration’s assault on world peace and nuclear disarmament, the environment, human rights, and democracy – and on truth and reason themselves. I also find it unacceptable that while I am receiving this award, elected members of the Catalan government and civil society leaders are being held in detention and that they and others are being threatened and prosecuted with draconian charges simply for standing up for basic rights through non-violent conduct.
John R. B. Palmer és becari Marie Curie en el Grup de Recerca Interdisciplinari sobre Immigració (GRITIM) de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Treballa en qüestions sobre demografia, dret i polítiques públiques relacionades amb la mobilitat i la migració humanes, la segregació social i l’ecologia de les malalties, i imparteix classes d’Economia de les Migracions al màster del GRITIM. La seva formació inclou ecologia (B.S., Cornell University, 1997), dret (J.D., Cornell University, 2003) i demografia (Ph.D., Princeton University, 2013). A més de la seva recerca ha dirigit projectes d’ajuda als refugiats a Bòsnia, Albània i Kosovo i ha treballat com a oficial de protecció de l’Alt Comissionat de les Nacions Unides per als Refugiats a Kosovo i Montenegro. També ha servit com a agent de dret, mediador i advocat per al U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.