2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Mar 25, 2023  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

IDCE 30118 - Science Meets Policy in the Real World

Despite the wicked problems of our 21st century, the role of science in shaping environmental policy and practices is increasingly uncertain. 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. We will begin with foundational literature to develop an integrative framework for analysis of science-policy relations in domestic and international contexts. Most of the semester will be devoted to three case studies, including: 1) international efforts to address global climate change (incl. Kyoto and Paris accords); 2) storage of spent nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada; and 3) the Second Green Revolution in Africa and the future of agrobiodiversity. Each case exposes 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 will take on the roles of government agencies, civil society organizations, and private sector institutions as they engage each other in discussion and debate. The course will culminate in a synthetic analysis of the three cases that considers how to transform science-policy relations into a more effective process with desirable outcomes.


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

Anticipated Terms Offered: Annually- Spring