The idea of integration in research has risen rapidly in both environmental science and public environmental policy since the mid-1990s, and has encouraged innovative relationships between scientists and practitioners in a range of contexts. Yet the concept of integration is broad and ambiguous, which inhibits efforts to learn from these innovations. In this paper, I review the different concepts of integration that currently exist in international and Australian science and environmental policy contexts. Drawing on comprehensive examples, I identify 12 thematic categories of integration. The themes encompass integration within science, as well as integration between scientific and non-scientific partners. They also include integration focused on activities, and on the organisational or institutional structures that govern research activity. These groupings reflect significant differences in the ways science–policy relationships are understood, and the main problems integration is intended to overcome. They serve as a foundation for a framework that researchers, policy-makers and other partners can use to compare and learn from different integrative research approaches. This is a first step towards building a comprehensive understanding of how integration can contribute to better environmental outcomes.
Environmental Science & Policy – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2005
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