2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    Apr 17, 2021  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog

IDCE 30118 - Science Meets Policy in the Real World

The role of science in shaping environmental policy is increasingly unclear. What science and knowledge matter? What are the policy alternatives and implications? Who is affected by policy and what role might they play? The goal of this course is to engage the complexities at the science-policy interface, learn how to describe and navigate them, and find ways to innovate relations between science and policy. The course begins with foundational literature to develop an integrative framework for analysis of science-policy relations in domestic and international contexts. Most of the semester is devoted to case studies that expose students to the messiness of real-world issues, including the challenges of problem formulation, knowledge gaps and uncertainties, limits of technical capacity, and scientific vs. non-scientific influences. Students take on the roles of government agencies, civil society organizations, and private sector institutions as they design, debate, and collaborate in developing policy proposals. Examples of case studies include: the impacts of agricultural development on climate resilience in Ethiopia; storage of high-level nuclear waste in the United States; and impacts of lead pollution on child health in Massachusetts. Concentrations: Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, Conservation and Development, Healthy People Healthy Planet.


Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation- Conservation and Development- Healthy People Healthy Planet.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Annually- Spring