Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface: the practitioners’ perspectives

A. T. Bednarek, C. Wyborn, C. Cvitanovic, R. Meyer, R. M. Colvin, P. F.E. Addison, S. L. Close, K. Curran, Mahmud Farooque, E. Goldman, D. Hart, H. Mannix, B. McGreavy, A. Parris, S. Posner, C. Robinson, M. Ryan, P. Leith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cultivating a more dynamic relationship between science and policy is essential for responding to complex social challenges such as sustainability. One approach to doing so is to “span the boundaries” between science and decision making and create a more comprehensive and inclusive knowledge exchange process. The exact definition and role of boundary spanning, however, can be nebulous. Indeed, boundary spanning often gets conflated and confused with other approaches to connecting science and policy, such as science communication, applied science, and advocacy, which can hinder progress in the field of boundary spanning. To help overcome this, in this perspective, we present the outcomes from a recent workshop of boundary-spanning practitioners gathered to (1) articulate a definition of what it means to work at this interface (“boundary spanning”) and the types of activities it encompasses; (2) present a value proposition of these efforts to build better relationships between science and policy; and (3) identify opportunities to more effectively mainstream boundary-spanning activities. Drawing on our collective experiences, we suggest that boundary spanning has the potential to increase the efficiency by which useful research is produced, foster the capacity to absorb new evidence and perspectives into sustainability decision-making, enhance research relevance for societal challenges, and open new policy windows. We provide examples from our work that illustrate this potential. By offering these propositions for the value of boundary spanning, we hope to encourage a more robust discussion of how to achieve evidence-informed decision-making for sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1183
Number of pages9
JournalSustainability Science
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Fingerprint

sustainability
decision making
science
Decision Making
communication sciences
applied science
evidence
Values
efficiency
Research
present
knowledge
Communication
experience
Education
advocacy
communication
policy

Keywords

  • Boundary organizations
  • Boundary spanning
  • Science-policy interface
  • Sustainability
  • Wicked problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Bednarek, A. T., Wyborn, C., Cvitanovic, C., Meyer, R., Colvin, R. M., Addison, P. F. E., ... Leith, P. (2018). Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface: the practitioners’ perspectives. Sustainability Science, 13(4), 1175-1183. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-018-0550-9

Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface : the practitioners’ perspectives. / Bednarek, A. T.; Wyborn, C.; Cvitanovic, C.; Meyer, R.; Colvin, R. M.; Addison, P. F.E.; Close, S. L.; Curran, K.; Farooque, Mahmud; Goldman, E.; Hart, D.; Mannix, H.; McGreavy, B.; Parris, A.; Posner, S.; Robinson, C.; Ryan, M.; Leith, P.

In: Sustainability Science, Vol. 13, No. 4, 01.07.2018, p. 1175-1183.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bednarek, AT, Wyborn, C, Cvitanovic, C, Meyer, R, Colvin, RM, Addison, PFE, Close, SL, Curran, K, Farooque, M, Goldman, E, Hart, D, Mannix, H, McGreavy, B, Parris, A, Posner, S, Robinson, C, Ryan, M & Leith, P 2018, 'Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface: the practitioners’ perspectives', Sustainability Science, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 1175-1183. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-018-0550-9
Bednarek AT, Wyborn C, Cvitanovic C, Meyer R, Colvin RM, Addison PFE et al. Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface: the practitioners’ perspectives. Sustainability Science. 2018 Jul 1;13(4):1175-1183. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-018-0550-9
Bednarek, A. T. ; Wyborn, C. ; Cvitanovic, C. ; Meyer, R. ; Colvin, R. M. ; Addison, P. F.E. ; Close, S. L. ; Curran, K. ; Farooque, Mahmud ; Goldman, E. ; Hart, D. ; Mannix, H. ; McGreavy, B. ; Parris, A. ; Posner, S. ; Robinson, C. ; Ryan, M. ; Leith, P. / Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface : the practitioners’ perspectives. In: Sustainability Science. 2018 ; Vol. 13, No. 4. pp. 1175-1183.
@article{64417bed97d54f4ca2ebcfa392cb154d,
title = "Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface: the practitioners’ perspectives",
abstract = "Cultivating a more dynamic relationship between science and policy is essential for responding to complex social challenges such as sustainability. One approach to doing so is to “span the boundaries” between science and decision making and create a more comprehensive and inclusive knowledge exchange process. The exact definition and role of boundary spanning, however, can be nebulous. Indeed, boundary spanning often gets conflated and confused with other approaches to connecting science and policy, such as science communication, applied science, and advocacy, which can hinder progress in the field of boundary spanning. To help overcome this, in this perspective, we present the outcomes from a recent workshop of boundary-spanning practitioners gathered to (1) articulate a definition of what it means to work at this interface (“boundary spanning”) and the types of activities it encompasses; (2) present a value proposition of these efforts to build better relationships between science and policy; and (3) identify opportunities to more effectively mainstream boundary-spanning activities. Drawing on our collective experiences, we suggest that boundary spanning has the potential to increase the efficiency by which useful research is produced, foster the capacity to absorb new evidence and perspectives into sustainability decision-making, enhance research relevance for societal challenges, and open new policy windows. We provide examples from our work that illustrate this potential. By offering these propositions for the value of boundary spanning, we hope to encourage a more robust discussion of how to achieve evidence-informed decision-making for sustainability.",
keywords = "Boundary organizations, Boundary spanning, Science-policy interface, Sustainability, Wicked problems",
author = "Bednarek, {A. T.} and C. Wyborn and C. Cvitanovic and R. Meyer and Colvin, {R. M.} and Addison, {P. F.E.} and Close, {S. L.} and K. Curran and Mahmud Farooque and E. Goldman and D. Hart and H. Mannix and B. McGreavy and A. Parris and S. Posner and C. Robinson and M. Ryan and P. Leith",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s11625-018-0550-9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "13",
pages = "1175--1183",
journal = "Sustainability Science",
issn = "1862-4065",
publisher = "Springer Japan",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Boundary spanning at the science–policy interface

T2 - the practitioners’ perspectives

AU - Bednarek, A. T.

AU - Wyborn, C.

AU - Cvitanovic, C.

AU - Meyer, R.

AU - Colvin, R. M.

AU - Addison, P. F.E.

AU - Close, S. L.

AU - Curran, K.

AU - Farooque, Mahmud

AU - Goldman, E.

AU - Hart, D.

AU - Mannix, H.

AU - McGreavy, B.

AU - Parris, A.

AU - Posner, S.

AU - Robinson, C.

AU - Ryan, M.

AU - Leith, P.

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - Cultivating a more dynamic relationship between science and policy is essential for responding to complex social challenges such as sustainability. One approach to doing so is to “span the boundaries” between science and decision making and create a more comprehensive and inclusive knowledge exchange process. The exact definition and role of boundary spanning, however, can be nebulous. Indeed, boundary spanning often gets conflated and confused with other approaches to connecting science and policy, such as science communication, applied science, and advocacy, which can hinder progress in the field of boundary spanning. To help overcome this, in this perspective, we present the outcomes from a recent workshop of boundary-spanning practitioners gathered to (1) articulate a definition of what it means to work at this interface (“boundary spanning”) and the types of activities it encompasses; (2) present a value proposition of these efforts to build better relationships between science and policy; and (3) identify opportunities to more effectively mainstream boundary-spanning activities. Drawing on our collective experiences, we suggest that boundary spanning has the potential to increase the efficiency by which useful research is produced, foster the capacity to absorb new evidence and perspectives into sustainability decision-making, enhance research relevance for societal challenges, and open new policy windows. We provide examples from our work that illustrate this potential. By offering these propositions for the value of boundary spanning, we hope to encourage a more robust discussion of how to achieve evidence-informed decision-making for sustainability.

AB - Cultivating a more dynamic relationship between science and policy is essential for responding to complex social challenges such as sustainability. One approach to doing so is to “span the boundaries” between science and decision making and create a more comprehensive and inclusive knowledge exchange process. The exact definition and role of boundary spanning, however, can be nebulous. Indeed, boundary spanning often gets conflated and confused with other approaches to connecting science and policy, such as science communication, applied science, and advocacy, which can hinder progress in the field of boundary spanning. To help overcome this, in this perspective, we present the outcomes from a recent workshop of boundary-spanning practitioners gathered to (1) articulate a definition of what it means to work at this interface (“boundary spanning”) and the types of activities it encompasses; (2) present a value proposition of these efforts to build better relationships between science and policy; and (3) identify opportunities to more effectively mainstream boundary-spanning activities. Drawing on our collective experiences, we suggest that boundary spanning has the potential to increase the efficiency by which useful research is produced, foster the capacity to absorb new evidence and perspectives into sustainability decision-making, enhance research relevance for societal challenges, and open new policy windows. We provide examples from our work that illustrate this potential. By offering these propositions for the value of boundary spanning, we hope to encourage a more robust discussion of how to achieve evidence-informed decision-making for sustainability.

KW - Boundary organizations

KW - Boundary spanning

KW - Science-policy interface

KW - Sustainability

KW - Wicked problems

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85044467859&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85044467859&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11625-018-0550-9

DO - 10.1007/s11625-018-0550-9

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85044467859

VL - 13

SP - 1175

EP - 1183

JO - Sustainability Science

JF - Sustainability Science

SN - 1862-4065

IS - 4

ER -