As the Ocean Health Index makes its public debut, three of its parents describe the moment of 'Eureka!' in summing up the well-being of the global ocean and its human dependents.
The researchers behind the budding Ocean Health Index recognize the hubris of trying to summarize everything from water quality to fishing status to recreation in a single number, but they maintain it’s a necessarily audacious move.
As the gross domestic product shows us, a single number that represents the health of a complex and dynamic system can have amazing and perhaps unexpected power.
Scientists are from Mars, policymakers are from Venus, and bridging that gap is one of the goals of those designing the Ocean Health Index.