Contributed session - Social-ecological transformations for sustainability
C1/C2 (250)
09:00 - 10:30
Chair/s:
Jan Hanspach, Joern Fischer
Can We Successfully Be Ecological Without Being Deeply Social? (Answer: No.)
M. Jahi Chappell
Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom
Washington State University, Pullman, United States
The profound effects of agrifood systems on biodiversity (and hence biodiversity conservation) are increasingly coming to the foreground in ecology. Yet, whatever one thinks of the contention of Science and Technology Studies scholars that all science is deeply social, in the specific case of the interplay between agrifood systems and biodiversity, the dynamics are inescapably "non-neutral" and deeply social. Given the nature of these challenges, I will discuss two controversial propositions: (1) Ecologists who conduct research on agrifood systems and propose to directly inform biodiversity policy debates should, as a matter of course, invest a significant amount of time in training in a relevant branch of social science; and (2) more specifically, scientists who wish to contribute to conversations about agrifood systems' effects on conservation should not only avail themselves of pertinent literature in rural sociology and food security, but ought to align themselves explicitly with communities and movements for systematic reform.

While there are multiple chains of reasoning and evidence one could draw on to support these two propositions, I will focus on how ecological research that is not deeply and directly informed by social science is less likely to be effective and more likely to make inaccurate (and potentially harmful) assumptions about food security; and on how evidence from social science strongly indicates that certain kinds of claims to scientific neutrality are not only invalid, but can be actively harmful to successful public engagement, as predicted by both theory and experience.

Presenter/s:
M. Jahi Chappell
Presentation type:
Contributed session oral presentation
Room:
C1/C2 (250)
Chair/s:
Jan Hanspach, Joern Fischer
Date:
Wednesday, 23 August
Time:
09:00 - 10:30
Session times:
09:00 - 10:30