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Selection: with tag post-normal-science [29 articles] 


Global environmental issues and the emergence of Second Order Science

Vol. 12803 (1990)


[Excerpt: Introduction] The fundamental achievements of science, like those of all creative activities, have a timeless quality. The social activity of science, like any other, evolves in response to its changing circumstances, in its objects, methods and social functions. In the high Middle Ages, the independence of secular learning was established in the universities, removed from the monasteries; and the boundary between the sacred and private on the one hand, and the secular and public on the other, was set for ...


Seven myths of risk

Risk Management In Risk Management, Vol. 7, No. 2. (01 April 2005), pp. 7-17,


Communication between experts and the public has turned out to be unusually difficult in the field of risk research. These difficulties are closely connected to a series of recalcitrant misconceptions of risk and its social preconditions. In this paper, seven of the most pernicious myths of risk are exposed, namely: first, that ‘risk’ must have a single, well-defined meaning; second, that the severity of risks should be judged according to probability-weighted averages of the severity of their outcomes; third, that decisions ...


Research on a razor's edge

Science, Vol. 356, No. 6342. (09 June 2017), pp. 1094-1094,


[Excerpt] [...] Scientists in the United States face a shortage of tenure-track faculty jobs and fierce competition for a shrinking pool of grants. These dimming prospects reflect decades of underinvestment in the sciences. The current administration threatens to make things worse. We are all doing research on a razor's edge. [\n] It's no surprise that American scientists are becoming increasingly curious about opportunities elsewhere in the world. U.S. spending on research and development still ranks among the highest, but those who are ...


Unmask temporal trade-offs in climate policy debates

Science, Vol. 356, No. 6337. (04 May 2017), pp. 492-493,


Global warming potentials (GWPs) have become an essential element of climate policy and are built into legal structures that regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This is in spite of a well-known shortcoming: GWP hides trade-offs between short- and long-term policy objectives inside a single time scale of 100 or 20 years (1). The most common form, GWP100, focuses on the climate impact of a pulse emission over 100 years, diluting near-term effects and misleadingly implying that short-lived climate pollutants exert forcings in ...


Post-normal institutional identities: quality assurance, reflexivity and ethos of care



[Highlights] [::] Given the current crises of legitimacy and quality in mainstream science, institutions that produce and govern science and those that provide scientific advice to policy need to change their modus operandis; we advocate for an ethos of care. [::] Post-normal science and other frameworks of scientific knowledge production may inspire trustfulness in institutions that provide scientific advice to policy. [::] In Europe, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has the necessary scaffolding to advise policy in view of public interest, ...


Keep it complex

Nature, Vol. 468, No. 7327. (23 December 2010), pp. 1029-1031,


When knowledge is uncertain, experts should avoid pressures to simplify their advice. Render decision-makers accountable for decisions, says Andy Stirling. ...


Post-truth: a guide for the perplexed

Nature, Vol. 540, No. 7631. (28 November 2016), pp. 9-9,


If politicians can lie without condemnation, what are scientists to do? Kathleen Higgins offers some explanation. [Excerpt] The Oxford Dictionaries named ‘post-truth’ as their 2016 Word of the Year. It must sound alien to scientists. Science’s quest for knowledge about reality presupposes the importance of truth, both as an end in itself and as a means of resolving problems. How could truth become passé? [\n] [...] [\n] Post-truth refers to blatant lies being routine across society, and it means that politicians can lie without ...


Welcome to postnormal times

Futures, Vol. 42, No. 5. (20 June 2010), pp. 435-444,


All that was ‘normal’ has now evaporated; we have entered postnormal times, the in-between period where old orthodoxies are dying, new ones have not yet emerged, and nothing really makes sense. To have any notion of a viable future, we must grasp the significance of this period of transition which is characterised by three c's: complexity, chaos and contradictions. These forces propel and sustain postnormal times leading to uncertainty and different types of ignorance that make decision-making problematic and increase risks ...


Outside the pipeline: reimagining science education for nonscientists

Science, Vol. 340, No. 6130. (18 April 2013), pp. 314-317,


Educational policy increasingly emphasizes knowledge and skills for the preprofessional “science pipeline” rather than helping students use science in daily life. We synthesize research on public engagement with science to develop a research-based plan for cultivating competent outsiders: nonscientists who can access and make sense of science relevant to their lives. Schools should help students access and interpret the science they need in response to specific practical problems, judge the credibility of scientific claims based on both evidence and institutional cues, ...


(INRMM-MiD internal record) List of keywords of the INRMM meta-information database - part 27

(February 2014)
Keywords: inrmm-list-of-tags   plant-populations   plant-self-defense   plant-species   plant-species-competition   plant-species-richness   plant-survival   plant-trait   plant-use   plantation   plants   plasticity   platanus-orientalis   platanus-racemosa   platanus-spp   platanus-x-hispanica   platycarya-strobilacea   platymiscium-pinnatum   platypus-sulcatus   plausibility-check   pleurostomophora-richardsiae   pliocene   plumeria-alba   plumeria-rubra   po-plain   poaceae   podocarpus-falcatus   poisonous-plants   poland   polar-ecological-zone   polfc   policy   policy-strategies-for-scientific-uncertainty   pollen   pollen-analysis   pollen-dispersal   pollen-records   pollination   pollinology   pollution   polulation   polydrusus-impressifrons   polygala-myrtifolia   polygraphus-poligraphus   polymath   polymorphism   polypodium   population   population-adaptation   population-decline   population-dynamics   population-growth   population-structuring   population-viability-risk-management   populus-adenopoda   populus-alba   populus-angustifolia   populus-balsamifera   populus-cathayana   populus-deltoides   populus-euphratica   populus-fremontii   populus-grandidentata   populus-ilicifolia   populus-koreana   populus-lasiocarpa   populus-nigra   populus-simonii   populus-spp   populus-szechuanica   populus-tremula   populus-tremuloides   populus-trichocarpa   populus-wettsteinii   populus-x-canescens   populus-x-tomentosa   populus-yunnanensis   porosity   portability   porthetria-dispar   portugal   positional-analysis   post-fire-management   post-fire-regeneration   post-fire-vegetation-dynamics   post-glacial-dispersal   post-glacial-migration   post-normal-science   post-publication-peer-review   postfire-impacts   postfire-recovery   postgis   postglacial-recolonization   postgresql   potential   potential-evapotranspiration   potential-habitat   potential-soil-erosion   potoxylon-melagangai   poverty  


List of indexed keywords within the transdisciplinary set of domains which relate to the Integrated Natural Resources Modelling and Management (INRMM). In particular, the list of keywords maps the semantic tags in the INRMM Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD). [\n] The INRMM-MiD records providing this list are accessible by the special tag: inrmm-list-of-tags ( ). ...


On the extinction of craft skills with numbers - The case of “Overall, 7.9% of species are predicted to become extinct from climate change.”

(December 2015)


[Excerpt: Introduction] [\n] This paper is about craft skills with numbers and, in particular, about problems with the use of numbers of unknown pedigree. As an example, I will discuss a very striking number that appeared in the mainstream press in early May 20152: a new scientific study was reported to have found that 7.9% of species would become extinct as a result of climate change. What was quite remarkable about this number is that it had two digits: not 10%, not ...


'Wicked', 'messy', and 'clumsy': long-term frameworks for sustainability

Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 26, No. 6. (2008), pp. 1113-1128,


Society requires new forms of science and technology to productively accommodate the intrinsic value-laden judgments needed to manage the high uncertainties and considerable long-term impacts of sustainable urban planning. Responses to these 'wicked' problems include the development of postnormal science in the early 1990s. In subsequent literature on postnormal sustainability technologies, multiactor approaches to decision making are beginning to emerge. I examine an example: the development in New Zealand of a 100-year vision: the Auckland Sustainability Framework. Developed over fifteen months ...


Errors in systems approaches

International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 3/4. (2012), 233,


Understanding and treating problems in complex systems, independent of the systems construct (i.e., socio–technical systems or socio–ecological systems), dictates the use of a formal systems approach. The systems approach may be methodological, a method, or a technique, but in each case it involves the imposition of order that ranges from the philosophical to the procedural. Independent of the philosophical construct or procedural rigour used in addressing the complex systems problem is the opportunity to commit a number of errors as part ...


Managing complex adaptive systems - A co-evolutionary perspective on natural resource management

Ecological Economics, Vol. 63, No. 1. (15 June 2007), pp. 9-21,


The overexploitation of natural resources and the increasing number of social conflicts following from their unsustainable use point to a wide gap between the objectives of sustainability and current resource management practices. One of the reasons for the difficulties to close this gap is that for evolving complex systems like natural and socio-economic systems, sustainability cannot be a static objective. Instead sustainable development is an open evolutionary process of improving the management of social-ecological systems, through better understanding and knowledge. Therefore, ...


Framework for participative reflection on the accomplishment of transdisciplinary research programs

Environmental Science & Policy, Vol. 13, No. 8. (22 December 2010), pp. 733-741,


In response to the increasingly complex social–ecological issues facing society, there is a growing trend to conduct environmental research in large collaborative programs. This approach is described as transdisciplinary research as it transcends formal disciplinary boundaries, explicitly acknowledges that many different perspectives are relevant to the resolution of complex problems, and actively involves the users of research. This poses challenges for the evaluation of “impact” as any evaluation process must take into consideration the different expectations, values, culture, language and reward ...


A critical review of reductionist approaches for assessing the progress towards sustainability

Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 28, No. 4-5. (May 2008), pp. 286-311,


The increasing prominence of Sustainable Development as a policy objective has initiated a debate on appropriate frameworks and tools that will both provide guidance for a shift towards sustainability as well as a measure, preferably quantitative, of that shift. Sustainability assessment has thus the challenging task of capturing, addressing and suggesting solutions for a diverse set of issues that affect stakeholders with different values and span over different spatial and temporal scales. However sustainability assessment is still not a mature framework ...


Precisely incorrect? Monetising the value of ecosystem services

Ecological Complexity, Vol. 7, No. 3. (September 2010), pp. 327-337,


Environmental scientists employ political and economic arguments to argue for the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of ecosystem services. However, the economic terminology has a number of connotations which makes its usefulness for the intended effect questionable. On the one hand, the basic assumptions underlying economic valuation are far from realistic and represent rather a caricature of human behaviour. On the other hand, the methods based on these assumptions are manifold and lead to wildly diverging results. Thus the calculated ...


Uncertainty and dissent in climate risk assessment: a post-normal perspective

Nature and Culture, Vol. 7, No. 2. (2012), pp. 174-195,


Uncertainty complexity and dissent make climate change hard to tackle with normal scientific procedures. In a post-normal perspective the normal science task of "getting the facts right" is still regarded as necessary but no longer as fully feasible nor as sufficient to interface science and policy. It needs to be complemented with a task of exploring the relevance of deep uncertainty and ignorance that limit our ability to establish objective, reliable, and valid facts. This article explores the implications of this ...


Challenges to science and society in the sustainable management and use of water: investigating the role of social learning

Environmental Science & Policy, Vol. 10, No. 6. (October 2007), pp. 499-511,


Water catchments are characterised by connectedness, complexity, uncertainty, conflict, multiple stakeholders and thus, multiple perspectives. Catchments are thus unknowable in objective terms although this understanding does not currently form the dominant paradigm for environmental management and policy development. In situations of this type it is no longer possible to rely only on scientific knowledge for management and policy prescriptions. “Social learning”, which is built on different paradigmatic and epistemological assumptions, offers managers and policy makers alternative and complementary possibilities. Social learning ...


Public participation in impact assessment: a social learning perspective

Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 15, No. 5. (September 1995), pp. 443-463,


This paper is a contribution to the development of normative criteria for evaluating models of the participation process. The concept of social learning is described and an effort to show how communities of people with both diverse and common interests can reach agreement on collective action to solve a shared problem. The authors have developed the idea of “cooperative discourse” as a method to achieve consensus. The authors utilize the case study of the siting of a municipal waste disposal facility ...


Report of the working group "Democratising expertise and establishing scientific reference systems"



[Excerpt: Executive summary] [::1] ‘Experts’ are consulted by policy makers, the media and the public at large to explain and advise on such diverse issues as climate change, employment policy, BSE (‘mad cow disease’), and genetically modified organisms. However, many recent cases have shown that expertise, while being increasingly relied upon, is also increasingly contested. [::2] Furthermore, in the interplay between different levels of governance in the European Union, expertise must be credible across a variety of national scientific and policy cultures. ...


The post-normal science of precaution

Futures, Vol. 36, No. 3. (April 2004), pp. 347-357,


Science now finds itself in a new and troubled situation. The traditional optimistic picture is problematic and compromised at every turn. The scientific system now faces a crisis of confidence, of legitimacy and ultimately of power. We can usefully distinguish two sorts of science. The ‘mainstream’ is reductionist in style, and increasingly linked to industry. By contrast, the ‘post-normal’ approach embodies the precautionary principle. It depends on public debate, and involves an essential role for the ‘extended peer community’. It is ...


Can scientists and policy makers work together?

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 59, No. 8. (01 August 2005), pp. 632-637,


This paper addresses a fundamental question in evidence based policy making—can scientists and policy makers work together? It first provides a scenario outlining the different mentalities and imperatives of scientists and policy makers, and then discusses various issues and solutions relating to whether and how scientists and policy makers can work together. Scientists and policy makers have different goals, attitudes toward information, languages, perception of time, and career paths. Important issues affecting their working together include lack of mutual trust and ...


Methods for collaboratively identifying research priorities and emerging issues in science and policy

Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 2, No. 3. (02 June 2011), pp. 238-247,


[::1] There is a widely recognized gap between the data generated by researchers and the information required by policy makers. In an effort to bridge the gap between conservation policy and science, we have convened in several countries multiple groups of policy makers, practitioners and researchers to identify priority information needs that can be met by new research in the social and natural sciences. [::2] The exercises we have coordinated included identification of priority policy-relevant research questions in specific geographies (UK, USA, Canada); questions ...


Democracy and sustainable development - What is the alternative to cost-benefit analysis?

Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Vol. 2, No. 2. (April 2006), pp. 182-190,


Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) is part of neoclassical economics, a specific paradigm, or theoretical perspective. In searching for alternatives to CBA, competing theoretical frameworks in economics appear to be a natural starting point. Positional analysis (PA) as an alternative to CBA is built on institutional theory and a different set of assumptions about human beings, organizations, markets, etc. Sustainable development (SD) is a multidimensional concept that includes social and ecological dimensions in addition to monetary aspects. If the political commitment to SD ...


Reconstructing boundaries and reason in the climate debate

Global Environmental Change, Vol. 20, No. 4. (01 October 2010), pp. 565-569,


In this article I argue that the climate controversies of 2009 and 2010 should be seen as a contest about the boundaries of science; a contest which sociologists argue has long been important in establishing claims about the nature and authority of science. This boundary typically comes under pressure where science is asked to contribute to public policy. Three changes appear to have brought pressure on this boundary, and therefore on the authority of science, in the domain climate change: public ...


Uncertainty, complexity and post-normal science

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 13, No. 12. (1994), pp. 1881-1885,


The quality of the scientific inputs to the policy process is known to be problematic. No one can claim “truth” for his results. Nor can uncertainty be banished, but good quality can be achieved by its proper management. The interaction of systems uncertainties and decision stakes can be used to provide guidance for the choice of appropriate problem-solving strategies. When either or both of these are high, then mission-oriented applied science and client-serving professional consultancy are not adequate in themselves, and ...


Uncertainty as a monster in the science-policy interface: four coping strategies

Water Science & Technology, Vol. 52, No. 6. (2005), pp. 87-92


Using the metaphor of monsters, an analysis is made of the different ways in which the scientific community responds to uncertainties that are hard to tame. A monster is understood as a phenomenon that at the same moment fits into two categories that were considered to be mutually excluding, such as knowledge versus ignorance, objective versus subjective, facts versus values, prediction versus speculation, science versus policy. Four styles of coping with monsters in the science-policy interface can be distinguished with different ...


Science for the post-normal age

Futures, Vol. 25, No. 7. (September 1993), pp. 739-755,


In response to the challenges of policy issues of risk and the environment, a new type of science-‘post-normal’-is emerging. This is analysed in contrast to traditional problem-solving strategies, including core science, applied science, and professional consultancy. We use the two attributes of systems uncertainties and decision stakes to distinguish among these. Postnormal science is appropriate when either attribute is high; then the traditional methodologies are ineffective. In those circumstances, the quality assurance of scientific inputs to the policy process requires an ...

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Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD).
This database integrates a dedicated meta-information database in CiteULike (the CiteULike INRMM Group) with the meta-information available in Google Scholar, CrossRef and DataCite. The Altmetric database with Article-Level Metrics is also harvested. Part of the provided semantic content (machine-readable) is made even human-readable thanks to the DCMI Dublin Core viewer. Digital preservation of the meta-information indexed within the INRMM-MiD publication records is implemented thanks to the Internet Archive.
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INRMM-MiD was experimentally established by the Maieutike Research Initiative in 2008 and then improved with the help of several volunteers (with a major technical upgrade in 2011). This new integrated interface is operational since 2014.