Wednesday, August 8, 2007: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
A3&6, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
SYMP 12 - Linking ecology and restoration to societal outcomes: Living the legacy of George Brown
George E. Brown, Jr. (1920-1999), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California for more than 35 years and Chairman of the House Science Committee, devoted his life in politics to the idea that science should be in the service of justice, freedom, equality, and enlightenment. In the U.S. and abroad, much publicly funded science is explicitly promoted and justified in terms of the quest for specified societal outcomes. Science funding agencies in the U.S. demonstrate a link to societal outcomes in their missions:
  • To advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare and to secure the national defense (National Science Foundation);
  • To conserve and manage wisely the Nation's coastal and marine resources to ensure sustainable economic opportunities (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration);
  • To provide reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect the quality of life (U.S. Geological Survey);
  • To manage public forests and grasslands "to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run" (U.S. Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot);
  • To protect human health and the environment (Environmental Protection Agency); and
  • To lead America towards a better future through agricultural research and information (USDA Agricultural Research Service).

    Connections between scientific advance and societal outcomes, however, are complex and often surprising. The pervasive assumption is that more knowledge and innovation lead directly and automatically to desired outcomes. In reality, science and technology make their way into society through institutions, enterprises, and other social structures that are themselves changed by the course of scientific progress. Not all scientific information makes its way to the desired end-users, nor is it in a format decision-makers would find most useful. Knowledge about the potential users of information and engagement with stakeholders can help determine what types of research would be most broadly beneficial. Integrating societal context into the definition of research problems can amplify the benefits of research results. Empowering stakeholders to participate in knowledge creation can help bridge the gap between research and decision-making. 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.

  • Organizer:Lori A. Hidinger, Arizona State University
    Co-organizer:Mark Neff, Arizona State University
    Moderator:Lori A. Hidinger, Arizona State University
    8:00 AMIntroduction: Linking science and societal outcomes
    Lori Hidinger, Arizona State University
    8:10 AMChanging the model of science and society: The need to design science to address societal needs
    Dan Sarewitz, Arizona State University, Clark A. Miller, Arizona State University
    8:35 AMSelling the subversive science: A historical perspective
    Sharon Kingsland, Johns Hopkins Univerisity
    9:00 AMThe resilience framework and the science-society dialogue
    Ann Kinzig, Arizona State University
    9:25 AMBreak
    9:35 AMPrioritizing ecological research and restoration based on societal outcomes
    Jeffrey E. Herrick, USDA Agricultural Research Service, James P. Dobrowolski, USDA-CSREES, Miguel Ayarza, CIAT, Brandon Bestelmeyer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Joel S. Brown, USDA-NRCS, Ed Fredrickson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Kris M. Havstad, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Debra P.C. Peters, USDA Agricultural Research Service
    10:00 AMLinking invasive species research with societal needs: Caring for the land and serving the people
    Carolyn Hull Sieg, U.S. Forest Service
    10:25 AMRestoration of what and for whom? Understanding the subtleties of societal outcomes
    Mark W. Brunson, Utah State University
    10:50 AMPanel Discussion
    11:20 AMConcluding Remarks
    Mark Neff, Arizona State University

    See more of Symposium

    See more of The ESA/SER Joint Meeting (August 5 -- August 10, 2007)