Moving socio-hydrologic modelling forward: unpacking hidden assumptions, values and model structure by engaging with stakeholders: reply to “What is the role of the model in socio-hydrology?”*

V. Srinivasan, M. Sanderson, Margaret Garcia, M. Konar, G. Blöschl, M. Sivapalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The arguments presented in Melsen et al. advance ideas in the “Panta Rhei” decade (2013–2022) of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, which focuses on change in hydrology and society. While we reiterate that, despite acknowledged shortcomings, the enterprise of integrating societal feedbacks into hydrological models is beneficial in prediction and adaptive management, we also agree with the sentiments of the authors. In response, we offer concrete steps the socio-hydrologic community can take to educate modellers to become aware about unconscious biases embedded in model structure and clearly communicate assumptions. We stress the need for “knowledge brokers” that can help modellers work with stakeholders, instead of doing everything themselves. We also caution, however, against the danger of over-reaching. Young scholars already pay a big price by having to master both the natural and social sciences. As coupled human–water problems increase in societal importance, along with calls for more holistic thinking, we also need to promote an academic culture that rewards reaching across the aisle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • interdisciplinary
  • knowledge brokers
  • modelling
  • social-construction
  • socio-hydrology
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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