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Analysis of operating environments: A diagnostic model for linking science, society and policy for sustainability
journal contributionposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by P Leith, Joseph O'Toole, M Haward, Brian Coffey, C Rees, E Ogier
Through analysis of the dynamics between science and decision-making, we argue that diagnosing fit-for purpose approaches to linking science and decision-making may be possible. Such diagnosis should enable identification of appropriate processes, institutions, objects (e.g. tools, information products) and relationships that can facilitate outcomes. We begin the paper by unsettling the traditional constructions that science must distance itself from debates about values and what is at stake, and so from policy making. Then, drawing from mixed methods case studies in coastal South-eastern Australia, we describe how scientific research has had a bearing on decisions affecting society and the environment. These analyses suggest that the willingness and capacity of research organisations, programmes or projects to actively reflect on and participate in the evolution of the 'operating environment' for their research is integral to their ability to inform outcomes through science. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.