Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 11:30 AM
Room 333-334 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
As the weather enterprise seeks to evolve by improving its collective understanding of the human-environment nexus, including developing an understanding of how humans apprehend, interpret, value, and use both information about weather (and especially severe weather) and natural hazards and make decisions about risk and action, there is an increase in the research and application efforts involving both social/behavior experts and physical science experts. Approaches to using both or multiple sets of expertise vary, however. Some approaches amount to “add on” or adding a social scientific perspective to a pre-existing effort designed and operationalized by physical scientists; sometimes social scientists are asked to modify ongoing efforts rather add a component; and sometimes projects are designed as a kind of exercise in “parallel play”; that is, the project has physical science dimension that plays out while simultaneously, but independently, a social science effort is enacted. A more challenging approach of merging these approaches requires a more nuanced and richer understanding of the philosophical, practical, and cultural aspects of the practice of inquiry across the disciplines involved in the research or application. These issues include epistemological, ontological and value assumptions and questions. This presentation will highlight the key issues and illustrate the significance of addressing and resolving these points of difference so that research and application of weather and hazard related topics might also move toward social, political, economic, an scientific benefits with greater intentionality and a broader success.
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