Wednesday, August 8, 2007 - 8:00 AM

SYMP 12-1: Introduction: Linking science and societal outcomes

Lori Hidinger, Arizona State University

In the U.S. and abroad, much publicly funded science is explicitly promoted and justified in terms of the quest for specified societal outcomes. But how well do the results from ecological and restoration research link to the complex problems facing society in our changing world? In his 1998 Carey Lecture to the AAAS, Representative George Brown noted that “we will not achieve our promise unless we reevaluate and reform our system of research and education and the integration of new knowledge into society.” Ecological and restoration problems are complex, involving both natural and social systems. So it is increasingly important for researchers to engage with society in setting research priorities to ensure that new knowledge addresses issues of societal concern. This symposium will explore the history of ecologists' engagement with society and how ecology and restoration scientists can link their research more directly with outcomes desired by society.