Integrated natural-social science-stakeholder projects (NSSSP) - Lessons learned
Over the past couple of decades there have been a large number of projects, large and small, global to local, that have attempted to utilize integrated natural and social scientists to address problems of importance to stakeholders and decision makers. This research mode has come into favor in funding agencies with calls for proposals utilizing this research paradigm with considerable resources being devoted to this trend. The genesis of the need for more work in this area is certainly complex but no doubt stems in part from the poor acceptance of science by society, in general, in a number of areas such as climate science. Excellent science, even on critical issues, which clearly impacts the welfare of society that is only deposited in technical journals, does not have much impact on the decisions that individuals in a given community make or decision makers more generally.
What is proposed here is a workshop to evaluate the results of a series of case studies, ranging from global to local that have addressed environmental issues. We will probe the added value of an integrated approach to the problems that were addressed, and the lessons learned in their operation—what worked and what were the obstacles that were met and how they were overcome, or not. Were the results gained from the program of value to all participants: scientists, stakeholders, and decision makers? In retrospect, how these programs could have been better designed to achieve their goals including the organizational structure of the effort. In addition, we will examine the experiences of funding agencies that have supported these integrated programs to learn the approaches they have used to fund and evaluate these efforts and what recommendations they might have for future efforts.