Better utilization of science in policy has been seen as a way to enable solving environmental problems. Several science-policy interface organisations have been established to compile and assess existing knowledge, as well as facilitate dialogue between science and policy (Tinch et al. 2016). Simultaneously, statements ignoring science in policy and emergence of alternative facts has led to claims that we currently live in a post-truth era (Lockie, 2017). However, it can be questioned whether the use of knowledge in policy has ever been apolitical. So far, there is only a little research on the impact of environmental science-policy interface organisations (also as SPI or boundary organization). The impact has been studied, however, e.g. through relevance, credibility, legitimacy and iterativity. The interface actors may have different perceptions on what the impact means. In addition, the various organisations can have similar objectives, their functions and activities are partly overlapping and therefore their relationships are not clear. In this research project I study: 1) How various actors perceive the meaning of the impact of environmental science-policy platforms and organisations? 2) How various organisations act in relation to each other and their objectives? 3) How organisations work as a combination in the alleged post truth-era? The post doc research project will start 2018 and last 26 months.
First work package focuses on actors. In first article, I will study Finnish participants of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) (10 persons) and supplementary views from members of the Finnish national IPBES panel (5) using thematic interviews. In second article, I will study knowledge produces perceptions by interviewing Red List evaluators (10). Red List is an example of international knowledge production and assessment organization. In this article, I focus on peatland evaluation because peatland conservation policy has showed examples of political use of knowledge.
In the second work package, I will conduct a systematic literature review that produces a typology of impact of various Finnish environmental science-policy panels from Web of Science and SCOPUS. It covers interrelationships of various panels and stakeholders, as well as panels' objectives and achievement of those objectives. The article will be supplemented with the materials produced by panels and actor involvement. Actors will be asked to comment the typology. Finally, I bring together all data from different work packages to answer third research question.
Lockie, S. 2017. Post-truth politics and the social sciences. Environmental Sociology, 3(1), 1-5.
Tinch, R., Balian, E., Carss, D., de Blas, D. E., Geamana, N. A., Heink, U., … Young, J. C. 2016. Science-policy interfaces for biodiversity: dynamic learning environments for successful impact. Biodiversity and Conservation. (online)