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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

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Science-Policy symposium at the AAAS annual congress

A symposium on 'Plurality of Science and Connectivity Between Research and Policy-Making', organised as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Congress. INRA in France are co-organisers of the event, which will be moderated by Jacques Baudry of LTER-Europe.
When 15 Feb, 2009
from 08:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Where Chicago, USA
Contact Name
Contact Phone +33 (0)2 23 48 56 21
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As a convergent set of observations shows, the familiar gap between science and policy-making increases in issues related to sustainable development. Representatives from the 27 EU states, in a 2007 symposium, stressed two major obstacles that hamper effective use of scientific knowledge: scientists fail to produce interdisciplinary knowledge adequate to answer - at the relevant scales  - the questions raised by sustainability, and research and policy-making increasingly fail to connect. This is not news, and recent studies lay the blame on organizational problems (institutional weaknesses, lack of skill of scientists or policy-makers, etc.). But some scientists and philosophers see a deeper cause, common to both problems: the failure to acknowledge and investigate the plurality of approaches within scientific disciplines. This makes it difficult for scientists to control the conceptual implications of interdisciplinarity and for policy-makers to gain a full grasp of the specific blind spots and results associated with each theoretical approach. There is a crying need for meta-knowledge on this issue. The aim of this symposium is to bring together philosophers of science and scientists who have focused on the general issue of pluralism in science and/or the field of sustainable development to confront different views on how to construct the kind of meta-knowledge on the plurality of science that might help bridge the gap between research and policy-making in that field.

Organized by:

Catherine E Laurent, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, France;Jacques Baudry, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Rennes, France;Vincent Guillin, College de France, Paris, France


Symposium Organizer - Catherine E. Laurent, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, France

Symposium Co-Organizer - Jacques Baudry, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Rennes, France

Symposium Co-Organizer - Vincent Guillin, College de France, Paris, France

Moderator - Jacques Baudry, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Rennes, France

  • To Build Meta-Knowledge on the Plurality of Science for Researchers and Policy-Makers - Catherine E. Laurent, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, France
  • Ineliminable Uncertainty and Challenges to Policy - Sandra D. Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • The Role of Ecological Theory in Rangeland Policy Failure - Nicholette Allsopp, South African Environmental Observation Network, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Why It's So Hard To Apply Cognitive Science - Daniel Andler, Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France
  • Why Is It So Hard To Use Scientific Knowledge for Policy-Making? - Maria José Carneiro, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Pluralism and the Battle of Methods - Nancy Cartwright, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom
  • Discussant - Marc Kirsch, Collège de France, Paris, France
  • Discussant - Françoise Burel, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Rennes, France


Note that the AAAS congress will take place from 12-16 February in Chicago, USA.

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