Bridging Science and Society for Sustainability: The Role of Visualization

Saturday, February 20, 2010: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Room 11A (San Diego Convention Center)
Society and the environment are changing, often so fast that it is difficult to imagine how they may look a few years into the future, let alone decades. Society and environment are affected by various factors, ranging from daily activities to climate change and subsequent responses. There are choices to be made, and this requires consideration of serious trade-offs and the consequences of humankind's activities and interventions. The concept of sustainability has become a normative reference point for societal decisions related to the environment, economy, and society. This research supports the public decision process in its endeavor to transition towards sustainability and builds on an interdisciplinary suite of methods from sustainability science, environmental science, decision science, computer science, gaming, virtualization, education, and policy analysis. Recent research has focused on three distinct areas: first, how to best use visualizations to inform policy-makers and the public; second, in what decision situation visualization can play an advantageous role; and, third, the role of utopian/dystopian visuals and their credibility and impact. In this symposium, these streams of research and their strengths and weaknesses are being addressed through case studies.
Arnim Wiek, Arizona State University
Villy Christensen, University of British Columbia
Stephen Sheppard, University of British Columbia
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