Avoiding a Post-truth World: Embracing Post-normal Conservation

Rose, David Christian (2018) Avoiding a Post-truth World: Embracing Post-normal Conservation. Conservation and Society, 16 (4). pp. 518-524. ISSN 0972-4923

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Abstract

In response to unexpected election results across the world, and a perceived increase of policy decisions that disregard scientific evidence, conservation scientists are reflecting on working in a ‘post-truth’ world. This phrase is useful in making scientists aware that policy-making is messy, and multi-faceted, but it may be misused. By introducing three different scenarios of conservation decision-making, this perspective argues that a mythical era of ‘science or truth conservation’ has never existed. Since an ‘extended peer community’ of decision-makers (policy-makers, practitioners, stakeholders) are present in multi-layered governance structures, conservation has always been ‘post-normal’. To decrease the chances of ‘post-truth’ decision-making occurring, the perspective encourages scientists to think carefully about scientific workflows and science communication. Developing a conservation narrative which does not see values, beliefs, and interests, as key parts of modern functioning democracies risks upholding a perception of the disconnected ivory tower of science. Rather, co-productive relationships should be established with decision-makers, and we should harness the power of storytelling to engage people on a personal level. This perspective encourages scientists to take heed of research on stakeholder engagement and storytelling, and to embrace workflows suited to post-normal conservation, rather than trying to deny that a post-normal world exists.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2018 13:30
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2020 01:12
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/66655
DOI:

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