Sorting Out Roles and Defining Divides: Social Sciences at the World Conservation Congress



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Conservation and Society


Many conservation practitioners and scholars have called for increasing involvement of the social sciences in conservation and better integration among the various disciplines engaged in conservation practice. This research uses the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Fourth World Conservation Congress (WCC) as a site of ethnographic inquiry to explore in-depth how conservation researchers and practitioners view the social sciences in conservation. This paper situates those views in the context of the WCC itself and treats such themes as the appropriate role for the social sciences in conservation, conflicts between social and natural scientists, and sorting out differences between academic social scientists and those working within conservation organisations. It ends with a reflection on what changes new approaches to conservation might bring to the relationship between natural and social sciences in conservation.



WCC, science