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Successful praxis at the boundaries: how do individuals foster adaptation?


Leith, PB, Successful praxis at the boundaries: how do individuals foster adaptation?, Adaptation Futures Conference, 27-30 May 2012, Tuscon, Arizona, USA (2012) [Conference Extract]


Adaptation rests on a variety of skills, carefully deployed to align interests, values and identities with useable science. It relies on individuals and organizations acting as effective intermediaries between complex and uncertain sciences and contingent, value-laden decision-making environments. In this analysis of two very different Australian cases (sea-level rise planning in Tasmania, rangeland grazing in Queensland) I outline stakeholders’ narratives about the effectiveness of specific actors operating at the boundaries between science, policy and practice. In these qualitative evaluations intermediaries link science with societal norms and values in order to gain purchase on decision-making. Such work often occurs in spite of institutional strictures, rather than because of them. I suggest that, if such effective work is to be encouraged and learnt from, organizations will need to develop reflexive approaches to evaluation of the performance of intermediaries, which necessarily include narrative. Critically, such evaluation needs to be institutionalized to create new metrics of success and career advancement.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Research, science and technology policy
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Mitigation of climate change
Objective Field:Climate change mitigation strategies
UTAS Author:Leith, PB (Dr Peat Leith)
ID Code:84530
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2013-05-16
Last Modified:2013-05-16

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