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Sustainability News

DCDC News DCDC Spotlights

July 9, 2013

Science and Public Policy, published by Oxford Journals, is a leading international journal on public policies for science, technology and innovation. It covers all types of science and technology in both developed and developing countries.

DCDC publications having an impact include the following articles published in Science and Public Policy in 2010 and 2011 that were most cited during 2012.

Dave D. White, Amber Wutich, Kelli L. Larson, Patricia Gober, Timothy Lant and Clea Senneville.2010. Credibility, salience, and legitimacy of boundary objects: water managers' assessment of a simulation model in an immersive decision theater. Science and Public Policy 37(3):219-232.

Abstract

The connection between scientific knowledge and environmental policy is enhanced through boundary organizations and objects that are perceived to be credible, salient, and legitimate. In this study, water resource decision makers evaluated the knowledge embedded in WaterSim, an interactive simulation model of water supply and demand presented in an immersive decision theater. Content analysis of individual responses demonstrated that stakeholders were fairly critical of the model’s validity, relevance, and bias. Differing perspectives reveal tradeoffs in achieving credible, salient, and legitimate boundary objects, along with the need for iterative processes that engage them in the co-production of knowledge and action.

Sonia Talwar, Arnim Wiek and John Robinson. 2011. User engagement in sustainability research. Science and Policy (38)5:379-390.

Abstract

User engagement, stakeholder involvement, and public consultation in sustainability research have received increased attention over the last decade. Key driving factors behind this are that social outcomes, policy relevance, and user engagement have all become requirements for securing research funding. Many articles have provided compelling arguments for the need to reconsider why, when and how users are engaged within the research process. We propose a typology of user engagement strategies in research, focusing on the actual research process and emphasizing types of engagement in research. We illustrate these types with a comparative analysis of empirical examples from three interactive sustainability research projects, based in Canada and Switzerland. The article discusses the challenges that require a reconfiguration of institutional and organizational structures to seize the full potential of interactive sustainability research.