Translating Knowledge: The role of Shared Learning in Bridging the Science-Application Divide

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 2:25 PM
Marcus Moench, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, Boulder, CO, United States
As the organizers of this session state: “Understanding and managing our future relation with the Earth requires research and knowledge spanning diverse fields, and integrated, societally-relevant science that is geared toward solutions.” In most cases, however, integration is weak and scientific outputs do not match decision maker requirements. As a result, while scientific results may be highly relevant to society that relevance is operationally far from clear.

This paper explores the use of shared learning processes to bridge the gap between the evolving body of scientific information on climate change and its relevance for resilience planning in cities across Asia. Examples related to understanding uncertainty, the evolution of scientific knowledge from different sources, and data extraction and presentation are given using experiences generated over five years of work as part of the Rockefeller Foundation supported Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network and other programs. Results suggest that processes supporting effective translation of knowledge between different sources and different applications are essential for the identification of solutions that respond to the dynamics and uncertainties inherent in global change processes.