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Living happily in the valley of death


Harris, P and Meyer, R and Leith, PB, Living happily in the valley of death, UTAS News, UTAS, Hobart, Tasmania (2013) [Internal Newsletter]


Living happily in the valley of death Powerful metaphors are used to describe the challenges of linking science with application and use in the world. We often hear about the gap that needs to be bridged, the chasm between two cultures, the insurmountable barriers or, most evocative of all, the valley of death. The common theme is a separation that can only be crossed at great risk to the career of the intrepid explorer. These metaphors are all negative, which is unhelpful for those who spend their time in the space between science and decision-making. More importantly, much of the time the metaphors are simply empirically wrong. Certainly it is not always easy to try to improve decision-making through the more effective linking of science and policy. It involves working across cultural and professional boundaries, trying to reconcile very different timelines and expectations. But however you describe the distance between the two activities, the intervening landscape is not littered with bleached bones. It is home to a variety of diligent, smart, hard-working and creative people. It is becoming a place more akin to Plato’s agora than a chasm of desiccation and despair -- a place where our most closely held ideas about knowledge and democracy are being continually tested, reworked, and improved.

Item Details

Item Type:Internal Newsletter
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology and social studies of science and technology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Leith, PB (Dr Peat Leith)
ID Code:83509
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2013-03-15
Last Modified:2014-04-16

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