Navigation Links
Is sustainability science really a science?
Date:11/23/2011

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico -- The idea that one can create a field of science out of thin air, just because of societal and policy need, is a bold concept. But for the emerging field of sustainability science, sorting among theoretical and applied scientific disciplines, making sense of potentially divergent theory, practice and policy, the gamble has paid off.

In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe Institute, and Indiana University analyzed the field's temporal evolution, geographic distribution, disciplinary composition, and collaboration structure.

"We don't know if sustainability science will solve the essential problems it seeks to address, but there is a legitimate scientific practice in place now," said Lus Bettencourt of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Santa Fe Institute, first author on the paper, "Evolution and structure of sustainability science."

The team's work shows that although sustainability science has been growing explosively since the late 1980s, only in the last decade has the field matured into a cohesive area of science. Thanks to the emergence of a giant component of scientific collaboration spanning the globe and an array of diverse traditional disciplines, there is now an integrated scientific field of sustainability science as an unusual, inclusive, and ubiquitous scientific practice.

The researchers used an exhaustive literature search to determine if the field can truly be categorized as a legitimate science, using population modeling and documenting technical papers' evolution over time, worldwide author distribution, range of sciences involved, and the collaboration structure of the participants. Many of these techniques form the basis of a new science of science, which allows researchers to analyze and predict the development of scientific and technological fields.

The researchers ask, "How has it been changing, and who are its contributors in terms of geographic and disciplinary composition? Most important, is the field fulfilling its ambitious program of generating a new synthesis of social, biological, and applied disciplines, and is it spanning locations that have both the capabilities and needs for its insights?"

Bettencourt said that they concluded that the field is both applied and basic, spanning worldwide institutions, governments, and corporations, but the key is the collaboration network that evolved in about the year 2000. "This has never been done, starting a worldwide scientific field defined mainly by the need for informed global social practice and policy," Bettencourt said, "but sustainability science shows that it can be done."


'/>"/>
Contact: Nancy Ambrosiano
nwa@lanl.gov
505-667-0471
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Thinking it through: Scientists call for policy to guide biofuels industry toward sustainability
2. Barcelona Declaration 2008: Challenges and Pathways to Earth Sustainability
3. NJIT sustainability expert to discuss high performance schools at seminar
4. Study a step toward disease-resistant crops, sustainability
5. Conference to explore sustainability of biofuels
6. Abundance of ladybugs in olive orchards is an indicator of health and sustainability
7. TXOTX, coordinated international project to contribute to sustainability of the marine resources
8. Symposium at UH will address how to put sustainability into practice
9. Organizational Change Management for Sustainability: The Harvard Case Study
10. K-State biologist collaborating with researchers in Africa on grassland sustainability, biodiversity
11. K-State geographer working to clarify what sustainability really means to rural decision-makers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: