Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
School of Earth and Environment
Sustainability Research Institute
Unpacking the co-production of knowledge
in adaptation t...
Setting the scene
• Advances in climate science
have been tremendous and
important to make the case
for climate change mit...
The answer to this ‘disconnect’?
• Move beyond ‘linear model’ and ‘loading dock’ approaches
• Effective decision support e...
Cumberland workshop
Better together? Reconciling the
supply of, and demand for,
climate knowledge in adaptation
decision-m...
Reflections and insights on co-
production from workshop
Different varieties of co-production:
• ‘doing things together’ (...
An empirical example: UK Climate
Projections 2009 (UKCP09)
• The leading source of climate
change information for the UK
•...
Co-production by ‘doing things
together’: Users & UKCP09
• ‘A key feature of the development of UKCP09 was the
interaction...
Co-production by ‘doing things
together’: Users & UKCP09
• Climate scientists gained a much deeper understanding of
the ba...
Co-production by ‘doing things
together’: Users & UKCP09
“UKCP09 projections are very complicated to use and not
particula...
STS co-production: Spatial
resolution & UKCP09
• Both scientists and users wanted higher spatial resolutions
which were in...
STS co-production: Spatial
resolution & UKCP09
1. MOHC scientists were perceived to have got too close to
users and were u...
STS co-production: Spatial
resolution & UKCP09
Socio-technical and institutional-political considerations:
• One of the ma...
Summary
• There are different kinds of co-production competing for
attention in adaptation research:
• The microscale epis...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Unpacking the co-production of knowledge in adaptation to climate change, Suraje Dessai, Silke Beck, James Porter, Jeroen Van Der Sluijs

1,098 views

Published on

S. Dessai (University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom), at at the Our Common Future Under Climate Change conference, July 7-10 in Paris, France.

More at http://www.commonfuture-paris2015.org/

Published in: Science
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Unpacking the co-production of knowledge in adaptation to climate change, Suraje Dessai, Silke Beck, James Porter, Jeroen Van Der Sluijs

  1. 1. School of Earth and Environment Sustainability Research Institute Unpacking the co-production of knowledge in adaptation to climate change SURAJE DESSAI (1), SILKE BECK (2), JAMES PORTER (1), JEROEN VAN DER SLUIJS (3) (1) UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS, UK; (2) HELMHOLTZ CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH − UFZ , LEIPZIG, GERMANY; (3) UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN, NORWAY
  2. 2. Setting the scene • Advances in climate science have been tremendous and important to make the case for climate change mitigation • But this knowledge has been of limited use to inform local and regional decision- making on adaptation to climate change – especially long term planning • ‘Disconnect’ (Lemos and Moorhouse, 2005), ‘usability gap (Lemos et al. 2012), etc.
  3. 3. The answer to this ‘disconnect’? • Move beyond ‘linear model’ and ‘loading dock’ approaches • Effective decision support emerges when the information decision-makers’ need is identified and aligned alongside with what is feasible for science to deliver (NRC, 2009). • Reconciling supply of and demand for sciences (Sarewitz and Pielke Jr., 2007) • ‘Knowledge systems’: credibility, legitimacy and salience + ‘boundary work’ (Cash et al., 2003) • Improve fit, interplay and interaction (Lemos et al., 2012) • Co-production of knowledge (between scientists and adaptation decision-makers/planners)
  4. 4. Cumberland workshop Better together? Reconciling the supply of, and demand for, climate knowledge in adaptation decision-making 9-11 September 2014 Windsor, UK 22 participants; 14 papers Aim: To bring together different disciplines, philosophical traditions, and national contexts, to reflect on the socio- technical and institutional-political considerations affecting the supply of, and demand for, climate knowledge in adaptation decision-making.
  5. 5. Reflections and insights on co- production from workshop Different varieties of co-production: • ‘doing things together’ (Lovbrand’s logics of accountability): • speaks to the more instrumental, applied, practitioners understanding of co-production • a method to bring people, knowledges (both expert and local), together • need to redraw the social contract between scientists and non-scientists • Lovbrand’s logics of ontology (what a thing is) • speaks more to the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS) • science and politics are intertwined and continually shape each other • Everything, all the time, is being co-produced, and describing that process gives us access to the power dynamics involved and helps explain the situatedness of science in benefiting some over others
  6. 6. An empirical example: UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) • The leading source of climate change information for the UK • Funded by government; produced by Met Office, user engagement led by UKCIP • First projections designed to treat uncertainties explicitly • Designed to inform adaptation decisions • Reviewed by Steering and User group and 5 experts
  7. 7. Co-production by ‘doing things together’: Users & UKCP09 • ‘A key feature of the development of UKCP09 was the interaction between the scientific community who developed the projections and the stakeholder community who use them’ (UKCP09 project website) • Initially workshops, consultations, and surveys were run to find out what users wanted or needed (UKCIP 2004; 2005), before a user panel was set up by Defra-UKCIP, to ensure interactions between MOHC scientists and users remained at the very heart of the project’s development (Steynor et al 2012). • Initially climate scientists were reluctant to get involved in the User Panel (either they felt they already knew what users needed or they believed that bridging the useful/usable divide was not their responsibility), but later changed their minds.
  8. 8. Co-production by ‘doing things together’: Users & UKCP09 • Climate scientists gained a much deeper understanding of the barriers users experience and how these might be resolved by being part of the User Panel • Applying the ‘knowledge system’ criteria Tang and Dessai (2012) show that: • Stakeholders perceived UKCP09 to be credible and legitimate due to its sophistication, funding source and the scientific reputation of organizations involved in its development • Because of the inherent complexities of decision making and a potentially greater diversity in users, UKCP09’s saliency was found to be dependent upon the scientific competence and familiarity of the user(s) in dealing with climate information Tang, S., Dessai S. (2012) Usable Science? The U.K. Climate Projections 2009 and Decision Support for Adaptation Planning. Weather, Climate and Society, 4(4): 300-313.
  9. 9. Co-production by ‘doing things together’: Users & UKCP09 “UKCP09 projections are very complicated to use and not particularly user-friendly… you need to spend a lot of time getting your head around them… it took quite a lot of development to actually make the projections simple enough for people who aren’t working in climate adaptation to understand them and word them in a way that the probabilistic nature of the data… is understandable and meaningful on a local level” (Local Authority Official 2 – Interview). Porter, J.J., Demeritt D. and Dessai S. (2014) The Right Stuff? Informing Adaptation to Climate Change in British Local Government. SRI/Project ICAD Working Paper. Available: http://www.icad.leeds.ac.uk/
  10. 10. STS co-production: Spatial resolution & UKCP09 • Both scientists and users wanted higher spatial resolutions which were increased from 50km (UCKCIP02) to 25km • But there were concerns amongst the scientific community about the scale at which probabilistic outputs are reliable: • ‘I remember feeling concerned about the regional detail… that the science was being pushed a little further than it was ready to be pushed with the intent of providing users with the kind of information they were asking for… so rather than talking about, you know, changes in temperature and precipitation at very large scale, they were talking about them at a scale of a few kilometres… (Academic Climate Scientist 4 – Interview). • Rather than lower the spatial resolution, MOHC scientists inserted a caveat into the text describing a ‘cascade of confidence’
  11. 11. STS co-production: Spatial resolution & UKCP09 1. MOHC scientists were perceived to have got too close to users and were unable, or unwilling, to say no to their demands: • ‘If modellers are asked for detailed projections about what will happen say in a corner of England in 2080, some feel, and I’m thinking of the those in the Met Office that it’s their job to provide an answer. And whatever the computer spits out, they feel obliged to report it’ (Academic Climate Scientist 7 – Interview). 2. MOHC scientists share the discomfort felt by the academic community over the influence users have in shaping science. But they are faced with a dilemma, if they ‘don't provide these things for people … [a] consultant will be paid to make them up’ (MOHC Scientist 1 – Interview).
  12. 12. STS co-production: Spatial resolution & UKCP09 Socio-technical and institutional-political considerations: • One of the main objectives in the Defra-Met Office contract is to ‘develop a finer resolution… model to improve regional predictions for impact and adaptation studies’ (Defra 2007) • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, told the House of Commons that the next set of climate projections ‘will provide accurate modelling and practical tools to help organisations (like local authorities and businesses) assess and address climate change impacts for the UK up to 2100 at a regional and local level’ (Hansard 2007). Once the Minister had publicly stated that ‘it became impossible for government scientists to say it couldn’t be done’ (Academic Climate Scientist 7 – Interview). • Pressures to demonstrate value-for-money (£11 million spent)
  13. 13. Summary • There are different kinds of co-production competing for attention in adaptation research: • The microscale epistemological ‘doing things together’ motto of practice- based scholars • The macroscale ontological heuristic of STS scholars • Reconciling these different kinds of co-production is unlikely and probably undesirable • Teasing out the competing varieties of co-production in adaptation research is needed to unpack and understand what work this omnipresent concept does, whom it serves, who does it, how they do it, to what ends, and why Contact: s.dessai@leeds.ac.uk http://www.icad.leeds.ac.uk/

×