Re-embedding science in the realities of local communities: Reflexive experiments in upstream engagement towards urban sustainability

Jonas Egmose Mortensen, Kurt Aagaard Nielsen, Malcolm Eames

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Whilst recent decades have seen ever increasing attention to and recognition of the global dimensions of environmental change, it remains true that solutions to the problems of sustainable development always and everywhere remain local. That is sustainable solutions are always embedded in particular times and places, in particular practices and communities of actors. Whilst it is widely acknowledged that science, technology and innovation have a critical role to play in addressing the challenges of sustainable development it is far from evident that investment in science and technology per se leads to sustainable solutions. A major question facing the S&T policy community, and indeed society at large, is therefore how science and technology can be more effectively harnessed to addressing the sustainability needs and priorities of particular communities. It is in this context that this paper examines whether new approaches to upstream engagement in science and technology can further knowledge channels between local communities and academia. Building on the insights from critical theory; mode-2 conceptualisations of knowledge production; and the experiences from the Citizen Science for Sustainability action research programme, a number of principles and methods towards more reflexive forms of community-based public engagement in science and technology are proposed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2010
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventSunrise Triple C Conference : Climate, Change, and Communication - Roskilde Universitet, Roskilde, Denmark
    Duration: 20 Apr 201022 Apr 2010


    ConferenceSunrise Triple C Conference
    LocationRoskilde Universitet
    Internet address


    • Upstream Public Engagement
    • Mode-2 science
    • Action Research
    • Critical theory
    • Urban Sustainability

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