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Environmental Expertise
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Book description

An important goal of environmental research is to inform policy and decision making. However, environmental experts working at the interface between science, policy and society face complex challenges, including how to identify sources of disagreement over environmental issues, communicate uncertainties and limitations of knowledge, and tackle controversial topics such as genetic modification and the use of biofuels. This book discusses the problems environmental experts encounter in the interaction between knowledge, society, and policy on both a practical and conceptual level. Key findings from social science research are illustrated with a range of case studies, from fisheries to fracking. The book offers guidance on how to tackle these challenges, equipping readers with tools to better understand the diversity of environmental knowledge and its role in complex environmental issues. Written by leading natural and social scientists, this text provides an essential resource for students, scientists and professionals working at the science-policy interface.


'The novel perspectives in this book, as well as its cases and conceptual advances, will come as a welcome resource for those interested in understanding the controversies around the use of environmental expertise. Equally, it will be welcomed by environmental scientists seeking to navigate the shoals of practicing and representing science on the one hand, and effective communication and making a difference in the world on the other.'

Arun Agrawal - University of Michigan

'This book is important and timely. There has never before been such great need for evidence to underpin environmental policy, and yet there is also a growing appreciation among researchers of the complexities and risks associated with engaging with the policy community. The book is rooted in the latest theoretical understandings from social science, explained in an accessible way, and it very quickly moves from theory to practice, showing how these insights can inform how environmental scientists work around controversial topics. The use of in-depth case studies complements the widespread use of helpful examples throughout the text. I have found reading this book both inspiring and instructive, and believe that many researchers will benefit considerably from reading it. I will certainly be recommending it to colleagues.'

Mark Reed - Newcastle University

'The principal authors have done a very smart and novel job with this book, bringing together insights from environmental science, policy studies, science studies and the philosophy of science in a thoroughly practical way. The book should really help practitioners appreciate ways to handle the complexities of environmental policy-making in contexts of uncertainty, conflicting beliefs and competing societal values.'

Steve Yearley - University of Edinburgh

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