Post post-normal science: ‘systems theories’ with ‘contradictions’

Cover image: President Jimmy Carter leaves Three Mile Island. April 1st, 1979. Image by: President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Post-normal science Climate change, biodiversity loss, nuclear waste, population limits: the environmental challenges that we face today are not amenable to simplified, data-engrossed decision-making––not when our decisions…

Blowing in the wind: the politics of environmental decision-making

“Utterly offensive” and “a blight on the landscape,” fumed then Treasurer of Australia, Joe Hockey, in reference to a wind farm at Lake George, near Canberra. “Visually awful”, “noisy” and “ugly,” responded Prime Minister Tony Abbott when pressed for his views on wind turbines during interviews in 2015. These are not the comments of policy-makers…

What do the arts bring to environmental governance?

I started out on this research journey thinking that ‘connectivity’ would be a key motif for understanding what the arts could bring to environmental governance. It turns out that connectivity is critical to more levels of the enquiry than I had anticipated. From connecting people to their physical environments, to bridging the philosophical divide between…

Boolean searches for fuzzy themes and other research quandaries

There’s an odd paradox in applying research methodologies to a subject when the subject itself resists the research methodology. In this instance the paradox surfaces when employing reductive, disciplinary classifications to a subject that rejects reductionism and seeks interconnected, holistic, interdisciplinary and even transdisciplinary expression. This conundrum has been both challenging and exciting to encounter…

Connecting Habitats, Connecting Disciplines

James Lee and Simon Nicholas are undertaking research projects as part of the Environmental Management Research Internship. Although at first glance the two projects would appear to be very different in subject matter and approach, a closer look reveals a common theme of ‘connectivity’. Simon’s project is concerned with the isolation of the Blue Mountains…