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Virtual Poster Session!

June 29, 2010

I’m at the a big conference on climate adaptation. The full title is a bit much, but for the sake of formality, here you go:

2010 International Climate Adaptation Conference

Climate Adaptation Futures

Preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change

I’ll be chiming in here with thoughts about the goings on. Also, I prepared a poster for this conference and have just learned that my allotted poster time is day 3, from 7:30-8:30am! Not exactly a high traffic moment! If you’re not at the conference, or you just don’t relish the idea of pre-dawn poster perusal, just click to…

Introduction:

Adaptation research in Australia represents an important opportunity for innovation and learning when it comes to the management of research for beneficial social outcomes. An important step in this process is simply to map the landscape of adaptation research policy, and understand the goals, values, and approaches that fall into this broad interdisciplinary category.

I interviewed scientists and decision makers involved with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Climate Adaptation Flagship, and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), which is funded by Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE).

These quotations illustrate the broad range of responses I encountered.

Conclusions: Adaptation Research…

•is tremendously varied in its definition, purpose, and practice.
•is value-laden.
•is outcomes focused, but there is little clarity or consistency with respect to those outcomes.
•is difficult to evaluate in terms of its broader goals for society.
•presents a number of science policy challenges:
•Which values are most appropriate for publicly funded institutions pursuing adaptation research?
•How can institutions ensure that those values are reflected and rewarded in the work of scientists?
•How can institutions manage the tricky dynamics between advocacy and advice?
•Evaluation: many feel that traditional metrics of scientific progress are inadequate or irrelevant. There is no agreed upon way to approach this, but the community is innovating and experimenting.

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