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Ontology and integrative research on Global Environmental Change: towards a critical GEC science


Emmenegger, Rony; Rowan, Rory; Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Krug, Cornelia; Parreño, Maria Alejandra; Korf, Benedikt (2017). Ontology and integrative research on Global Environmental Change: towards a critical GEC science. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 29:131-137.

Abstract

This paper addresses ‘integration’ at the level of ontology to reflect on the conception and conduct of integrative research in Global Environmental Change (GEC) science. First, it outlines how the Earth system has become the dominant conceptual framework within which to approach GEC, marginalizing other ways of understanding the world. The paper argues that in order to grasp GEC and develop more effective responses to it, it is necessary to move beyond the singular ontology offered by the Earth system and engage with plural ontologies. Second, the paper highlights that scientific knowledge is inherently situated within networks of social and institutional power and oriented towards various social ends, and that as a consequences GEC science needs to reflect more deeply on the politics of its own knowledge production and its relationship to the policy sphere. In conclusion the paper calls for a more critical GEC science that builds these reflections into its scientific practices, and provides some leading questions that integrative research initiatives can use to guide self-reflexive research practices.

Abstract

This paper addresses ‘integration’ at the level of ontology to reflect on the conception and conduct of integrative research in Global Environmental Change (GEC) science. First, it outlines how the Earth system has become the dominant conceptual framework within which to approach GEC, marginalizing other ways of understanding the world. The paper argues that in order to grasp GEC and develop more effective responses to it, it is necessary to move beyond the singular ontology offered by the Earth system and engage with plural ontologies. Second, the paper highlights that scientific knowledge is inherently situated within networks of social and institutional power and oriented towards various social ends, and that as a consequences GEC science needs to reflect more deeply on the politics of its own knowledge production and its relationship to the policy sphere. In conclusion the paper calls for a more critical GEC science that builds these reflections into its scientific practices, and provides some leading questions that integrative research initiatives can use to guide self-reflexive research practices.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Social Sciences, General Environmental Science
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:17 Apr 2018 14:41
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:27
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1877-3435
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2018.02.001

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