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[Korean Scholars ③]

The Warmth of Science and Life by
Professor Choi Jae-Cheon

Touching ecosystem of human sustenance, reasoning, and coexistence

 

2022.03.07

 

From the time the world was built till now, the life forms on Earth have coexisted with human beings. Animals and diverse creatures have breathed the same air as humans and created an ecosystem on the Earth. Many scientists have studied society and its patterns formed by natural beings. In many cases, the traits and features of the natural ecosystem became inspirations to people. Professor Choi Jae-Cheon is one of the few Korean researchers who is active internationally in this field of work. He is recognized in Korea and the world for his studies on diverse types of animals and quality columns published in renowned media outlets. He even worked as an Editor-in-chief for the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior published in 2019, an animal encyclopedia composed of 4 books and 3,000 pages written by 600 esteemed animal experts worldwide. Professor Choi, who connects animals and humans through his writings, has recently worked at Naver Knowledge IN and YouTube. He fills the intellectual need of the young generation and helps them widen their world. Professor Choi’s story on life science has the power to connect our lives with the natural environment and make humans live the way they should.

 

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Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior

 

 

The power of life connected through communication and reasoning

 

Science is all around us, but we are often unaware of it. The vast volume of information and its challenging image are what pushes people away from science. One good news is that we have a writer who breaks down the barrier of science and communicates with the young generation. Professor Choi started writing his books in 1999 as he published his first book, Secret Lives of Ants (Sciencbooks). He is now renowned for his publications and columns on life science as a researcher and writer.

 

Professor Choi uses the power of reasoning to look at science and life from a diverse perspective and actively communicates with the world.

 

To promote science, professor Choi took an unconventional path to communicate with the public, which is Naver Knowledge IN (a knowledge-sharing platform for Naver users). The answers he suggests are based on his broad knowledge of subjects and a pinch of humor to move the young generation’s hearts. Professor Choi answers diverse questions with intelligence and quick wits to deliver the right information on science. He mixes general terms and jargon well in his answers. making them understandable to even a person without any scientific background. Life on lessons showing his experience is a bonus to the answer he provides.
According to professor Choi, life science is about both philosophy and biology. In other words, it’s a lens to life. Philosophy’s power comes from reasoning. Professor Choi contemplates how to look at both science and life from a diverse perspective. Due to his approach, the science he shows is not something authoritative, but rather a lubricant in connecting with the world. The very reason professor Choi was able to communicate well with the young generation on Naver Knowledge IN is the strength of reasoning from philosophy. Not only does he deliver scientific knowledge, but he also infers their questions. That is how his answers are applicable and interesting to readers regardless of whether the subject is about science or life.

 

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Ecological Turn, How to Live a Wise Life on Earth

 

 

In that sense, Ecological Turn, How to Live a Wise Life on Earth (Gimm-Young Publishers) is worth reading. The Earth’s ecosystem is constantly changing, as we can see from how COVID-19 changed our daily life, and natural disasters, such as large wildfires in Australia and the long rainy season in Korea, shape the world. At this time, Professor Choi, who has studied nature and ecology, recognizes the earth’s various living things as subjective beings that humans must coexist with. He also looks closely at the climate crisis, the decline in wildlife populations, and the ongoing pandemic crisis. He says there is no world where only humans can survive as a dominant species. He also points out that the way to coexist with the diverse life forms of nature is the way to a sustainable society. He saw nature not as an object to be exploited for technological advancement, success, and abundance, but rather as an object to live and coexist with. How philosophical is professor Choi’s life science?

 

The door to the future for coexistence

 

Professor Choi does not stop here. He suggests living harmoniously with all living things on the Earth rather than competing in a world of constant competition and savagery in his book Homo Symbious (Eumbooks). Through the example of nature, he explains that competition is an inevitable factor. Still, we can achieve greater progress by focusing on cooperation rather than competition. Cooperation here includes collaborative efforts among men and collaboration between man and nature. Nature is no longer a treasure box with infinite gifts. It shall be emptied one day. There are countless things that we have already revealed. Therefore, if nature is not protected, the survival of humankind will be threatened. Professor Choi also points out that various plants and animals are closely connected as they enjoy life in their own positions in the natural ecosystem, which encompasses a multifaceted perspective on the global ecosystem. Therefore, he suggests living in symbiosis with nature, being a true Homo symbius.

 

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Homo Symbius, The More Diverse It Is, Life: the more you learn, the more you love

 

 

In an era of surviving fierce competition, he emphasizes the importance of symbiosis through the value of diversity found in nature in his book The More Diverse It Is (Arte). This book also reminds the reader that nature and humans need to live together. It may seem like a light essay, but it contains intelligence and observation as a biologist, and sensitivity as a human being. By reading this book, the reader sympathizes with the ecosystem and becomes interested. In addition, illustrations that match the content of the text have been added, making it easier for readers to understand. The book includes Professor Choi’s original and simple thoughts, such as the meaning of life to an evolutionary biologist and everyday life for a scientist.
There are also books that teach the importance of life to children. Life: the more you learn, the more you love (The Bigger Child) expresses the beauty and preciousness of life to children. In the book, Professor Choi says that if we treat all living things as equal to humans, we will enjoy a happier life. Nature is beautiful because of its diversity in life forms. From bacteria to microbes, flowers, grass, trees, animals, and insects, everything is connected to create the Earth we live in. Therefore, there is no life that is not precious. For that matter, we humans should live together with a humble attitude rather than using nature destructively. A part of this book is cited in elementary school textbooks to help broaden children’s horizons.

 

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In addition to writings, Professor Choi is also actively showing his presence on YouTube through his chanel “최재천의 아마존 (meaning Professor Choi’s Amazon).” You can listen to stories related to life and science and learn about his wisdom on life. It is especially impressive that he actively communicates with the young generation. He lowers the barrier to science through communication and shows the right path for the future. While he shows the power and importance of science in various ways, Professor Choi is keeping our lives based on diversity and coexistence.

 

 


Written by Kang Chan-Hwi

 

kbbok

Kang Chan-Hwi

#Choi Jae-Cheon#Ecosystem#Coexistence#Scientist#Naver Knowledge IN
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