From ecology to society and back: the (in)convenient hypothesis syndrome Online publication date: Mon, 30-Jun-2014
by Víctor H. Marín; Luisa E. Delgado
International Journal of Sustainable Development (IJSD), Vol. 16, No. 1/2, 2013
Abstract: In this article, we analyse the case of the emigration and death of black necked swans in Southern Chile from a postnormal perspective. We show that in the presence of radical uncertainty, as it may happen when a socio-ecological conflict arises due to a sudden, catastrophic, shift in an ecosystem, one management approach is to consider multiple hypotheses that in turn should guide inclusive, multi-variable, adaptive management strategies. However, if influential members of society at the science-policy interface decide that only one hypothesis is true (a convenient hypothesis), then all alternative hypotheses become inconvenient; we have called this the '(in)convenient hypothesis syndrome' or (I)CHS. An extensive analysis of the case study, including social communications before, during and after the main ecological event, show that the conditions for the syndrome developed long before the shift in the ecosystem and that they were influenced by socio-political processes (some of which fall under Merton's self-fulfilling prophecy) occurring at many scales (from local to international). Our main proposal is that the syndrome is to be accepted as an element of the postmodern science-policy interfaces, originated because scientific results may support different hypotheses, some of which will have conflicting political repercussions.
Online publication date: Mon, 30-Jun-2014
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Sustainable Development (IJSD):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:
Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.
If you still need assistance, please email email@example.com