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Partners in Science: A framework for connecting science and society

This is a past event.

Monday, November 12, 2012, 4 pm

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This is a past event.

Rajul Pandya
Spark - UCAR Science Education

As geoscientists and geo-educators, we strive to understand the Earth system and offer that understanding as a resource to help society manage its relation with the planet. This is getting harder because of eroding support for basic research, politicization of scientific knowledge (e.g. climate change), and changing national demographics that exacerbate our historic difficulty reaching diverse communities.

One way to approach these challenges is by engaging diverse communities as partners in science—working with communities to develop an integrated program of scientific research, education, and action that addresses their priorities and advances general understanding. This approach invites community participation at all stages of the research process including defining the question and methods, collecting and analyzing data, and sharing and applying the results. While this approach is relatively new to physical sciences, it has a longer and successful history in natural resource management, social science, and public health.

This talk will explore this approach through specific examples: collaborations with tribal communities around climate change adaptation, work in the Louisiana Delta concerning land loss, and explorations of the link between weather and disease in Africa. I will articulate some of the challenges of working this intensively with communities, and suggest a general framework for guiding this kind of community-based science. I'd also like to explore strategies for scaling up this approach, especially with respect to how we train and reward future scientists.

Host John Gierke


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