Establishing a Field of Collaboration for Engineers, Scientists, and Community Groups: Incentives, Barriers, and Potential

J. L. Boucher, A. M. Levenda, J. Morales-Guerrero, M. M. Macias, D. M.A. Karwat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With the aim of mobilizing engineers and scientists to address environmental, climate, and energy justice challenges in the United States, this study examines how engineers and scientists view their incentives, barriers, and potential for community-based collaborations. Through a purposive convenience sample (n = 281) and an online questionnaire, we investigate the attitudes and experiences of engineers and scientists regarding their community-based work. Our analyses reveal dynamics of race, class, and experience, suggesting a type of socio-demographic conditioning informing community-based collaborations. Engineers and scientists also identify four main barriers to community-based work: lack of time, lack of funding, lack of rapport, and knowledge deficits. In response, we introduce a field of collaboration with its own set of capitals—economic, cultural, social, and symbolic—and offer recommendations on how engineers, scientists, and community groups might collaborate with each other to address longstanding issues of energy, climate, and environmental injustice in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020EF001624
JournalEarth's Future
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • community-based engineering and science
  • environmental, climate, and energy justice
  • field of collaboration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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