Decision-Making in the Public Domain: Boundary Processes as Catalysts for Innovation

Monday, 17 February 2014: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Grand Ballroom D North (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Many natural resources issues are complex, involving competing demands, uncertainties, and risks. Dialogue processes that link scientists, technical experts, decision-makers, and stakeholders can improve the effectiveness of natural resource management. Boundary processes and institutions have important roles in structuring such interactions. Information developed jointly by technical experts, the public, and decision-makers is more likely to be perceived as relevant, credible, and legitimate. Structured boundary processes can also lead to novel frames of the resource “problem set,” which, in turn, can lead to innovative solutions. The symposium comprises speakers from diverse backgrounds in public service, economics, and the social and natural sciences. For several large-scale controversial issues—such as hydraulic fracturing, listing the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act, and management of entire ecosystems—we illustrate how boundary processes that link experts with stakeholders and decision-makers can enhance understanding of natural resource challenges and help reframe problems and options for addressing them.
Steven Courtney, RESOLVE
Lynn Scarlett, U.S. Department of the Interior
Listing the Polar Bear: The Interplay of Science and Policy
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