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Empirically derived guidance for social scientists to influence environmental policy

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Marshall, N, Adger, N, Attwood, S, Brown, K, Crissman, C, Cvitanovic, C ORCID: 0000-0002-2565-3396, De Young, C, Gooch, M, James, C, Jessen, S, Johnson, D, Marshall, P, Park, S, Wachenfeld, D and Wrigley, D 2017 , 'Empirically derived guidance for social scientists to influence environmental policy' , PLoS One, vol. 12, no. 3 , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171950.

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Abstract

Failure to stem trends of ecological disruption and associated loss of ecosystem services worldwide is partly due to the inadequate integration of the human dimension into environmental decision-making. Decision-makers need knowledge of the human dimension of resource systems and of the social consequences of decision-making if environmental management is to be effective and adaptive. Social scientists have a central role to play, but little guidance exists to help them influence decision-making processes. We distil 348 years of cumulative experience shared by 31 environmental experts across three continents into advice for social scientists seeking to increase their influence in the environmental policy arena. Results focus on the importance of process, engagement, empathy and acumen and reveal the importance of understanding and actively participating in policy processes through co-producing knowledge and building trust. The insights gained during this research might empower a science-driven cultural change in science-policy relations for the routine integration of the human dimension in environmental decision making; ultimately for an improved outlook for earth's ecosystems and the billions of people that depend on them.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Marshall, N and Adger, N and Attwood, S and Brown, K and Crissman, C and Cvitanovic, C and De Young, C and Gooch, M and James, C and Jessen, S and Johnson, D and Marshall, P and Park, S and Wachenfeld, D and Wrigley, D
Keywords: social science, evidence, knowledge exchange
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS One
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171950
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Marshall et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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