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Wozu Umweltforschung? - Über das Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Forschungstraditionen und umweltpolitischen Leitbildern. Teil II: Zum Leitbild "Reflexive Umweltforschung"

Title:

Wozu Umweltforschung? - Über das Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Forschungstraditionen und umweltpolitischen Leitbildern. Teil II: Zum Leitbild "Reflexive Umweltforschung"

Boeschen, Stefan and Scheringer, Martin and Jaeger, Jochen A.G. (2001) Wozu Umweltforschung? - Über das Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Forschungstraditionen und umweltpolitischen Leitbildern. Teil II: Zum Leitbild "Reflexive Umweltforschung". GAIA: Ecological Perspectives in Science, Humanities, and Economics, 10 (3). pp. 203-212. ISSN 0940-5550

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Abstract

In the treatment of environmental problems, there is often a discrepancy between the needs of planners and decision makers and the results provided by scientific research. This discrepancy is related to the different aims, priorities, and codes of practice of scientists, on the one hand, and decision- and policy-makers, on the other hand. To explore how this discrepancy could be reduced to some extent, we first introduce the distinction between knowledge-oriented and decision-oriented reduction of complexity. The challenge today's environmental research is faced with is that, to some extent, decision-oriented reduction of complexity should be incorporated in the selection and solution of scientific problems. This can be achieved by orientation towards societal guiding principles such as sustainability or the precautionary principle. Following this approach, we then introduce the guiding principle of “reflexive environmental research” and point out how it differs from the guiding principles of “classical scientific research”. Key elements of reflexive environmental research are: reflection of guiding ideas external to science (e.g. sustainability); addressing explicitly the uncertainty and openness of scientific results and forecasts; transdisciplinarity; the aim of contributing to the solution of complex and controversial real-world problems; adherence to relevant scientific standards. Finally, we discuss the way reflexive environmental research can contribute to scientific consulting in decision-making processes in both business and politics.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Boeschen, Stefan and Scheringer, Martin and Jaeger, Jochen A.G.
Journal or Publication:GAIA: Ecological Perspectives in Science, Humanities, and Economics
Date:2001
Projects:
  • Transdisciplinary Research
Funders:
  • none
Keywords:environmental politics, environmental research, guiding principles, precautionary principle, problem-oriented research, reflexivity, sustainability
ID Code:974446
Deposited By:JOCHEN JAEGER
Deposited On:04 Jul 2012 10:32
Last Modified:13 May 2013 15:58
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