Integrated science for sustainable development - The role of social science
A UiB Global/CROP lecture, held by John Crowley, editor of the International Social Science Journal, UNESCO.
While it is now widely recognized that science and policy challenges relating to such complex systems as the environment require an integrated approach, a rather traditional division of labour still tends to prevail between the natural and social sciences.
The natural sciences study systems and describe how they might evolve, whereas the social sciences are expected to provide a basis for action to do what science requires. This division of labour has failed in practice, most spectacularly with respect to climate change, and is indefensible in theory.
John Crowley's presentation will re-examine the nature of the systems that are of concern to integrated science - emphasizing the key role of humans within them - and the of challenges that the world faces, which are not always best understood in terms of failure to act on unquestionable knowledge.
Social science has a crucial role to play within integrated science - and in doing so will face significant challenges in terms of theories, concepts and methods.