Bertuol-Garcia, Diana, Carla Morsello, Charbel N. El-Hani, & Renata Pardini (in press). Shared ways of thinking in Brazil about the science-practice interface in ecology and conservation. Conservation Biology. (doi: 10.1111/cobi.13242) (Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.13242) [This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record.]

Abstract:The debate in the literature on the science-practice interface suggests a diversity of opinions on how to link science and practice to improve conservation. Understanding this diversity is key to addressing unequal power relations, avoiding the consideration of only dominant views, and identifying strategies to link science and practice. In turn, linking science and practice should promote conservation decisions that are socially robust and scientifically informed. To identify and describe the viewpoints of scientists and decision makers on how the science-practice interface should work in order to improve conservation decisions, we interviewed Brazilian scientists (ecologists and conservation scientists, n = 11) and decision makers (n = 11). We used Q methodology and asked participants to rank their agreement with 48 statements on how the science-practice interface should work in order to improve conservation decisions. We used principal component analysis to identify shared viewpoints. The predominant viewpoint, shared by scientists and decision makers, was characterized by valuing the integration of scientific and strategic knowledge to address environmental problems. The second viewpoint, held mostly by decision makers, was distinguished by assigning great importance to science in the decision-making process and calling for problem relevant research. The third viewpoint, shared only by scientists, was characterized by an unwillingness to collaborate and a perception of scientists as producers of knowledge that may help decision makers. Most participants agreed organizations should promote collaboration and that actors and knowledge from both science and practice are relevant. Disagreements concerned specific roles assigned to actors, willingness to collaborate, and organizational and institutional arrangements considered effective to link science and practice. Our results suggest there is ample room for collaborations and that impediments lie mainly in existing organizations and formal institutional arrangements rather than in negative attitudes between scientists and decision makers.

Diana Bertuol-Garcia <dia.bertuol@gmail.com> is in the Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, and the National Institute of Science and Technology in Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies in Ecology and Evolution, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil.

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