The Conservation Social Sciences: What? How? Why?


The Social Science Working Group (SSWG) of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is pleased to announce the release of a report titled “The Conservation Social Sciences: What?, How? and Why?” edited by Nathan Bennett and Robin Roth. Here's an overview of this report...

Each of the fields of conservation social science has made and can make a unique contribution to understanding the relationship between humans and nature and to improving conservation outcomes. Conservation scientists, practitioners and organizations recognize the importance of the conservation social sciences and are increasingly engaging in and funding conservation social science research. Yet conservation organizations and funders often lack a clear understanding of the breadth of the conservation social sciences, the types of questions that each field of conservation social science poses, the methods used by disciplinary specialists, or the potential contribution of each field of conservation social science to improving conservation practice and outcomes. Limited social science capacity and knowledge within conservation organizations may also mean that conservation practitioners and organizations looking to fund conservation social science research do not know where or how to begin defining a social science research agenda.

This report presents a series of papers that were given as part of a workshop titled “The conservation social sciences: Clarifying ‘what?’, “how?’ and ‘why?’ to inform conservation practice” that occurred at the North American Congress for Conservation Biology in Missoula, Montana in July 2014. The workshop brought together specialists from the breadth of the conservation social sciences to define the contributions of their disciplines and fields to conservation through exploring the ‘what?’, ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ of each area of expertise. The resultant report aims to stimulate dialogue among conservation organizations, foundations, agencies, practitioners and researchers about the role of the conservation social sciences. It is intended to build capacity, promote knowledge and foster engagement with conservation social sciences in order to improve conservation practice and outcomes.

It can be downloaded from here or the link in the citation.

Citation: Bennett, N. J. & Roth, R. (eds.) (2015). The Conservation Social Sciences: What?, How? and Why? Vancouver, BC: Canadian Wildlife Federation and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia.