Title
Natural scientific complexity from a social scientific perspective: environment and health research and policymaking in Flanders (Belgium) Natural scientific complexity from a social scientific perspective: environment and health research and policymaking in Flanders (Belgium)
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Sociology
Politics
Source (journal)
International journal of risk assessment and management
Volume/pages
13(2009) :3/4 , p. 242-259
ISSN
1466-8297
vabb
c:vabb:268379
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This paper discusses the relevance of a complexity approach to environment and health research. The approach is characterised by modesty, respect and transparency with regard to complexity of real world problems, and openness to a diversity of knowledge and opinion. The approach criticises the traditional interpretation of objectivity and emphasises the inter-subjectivist nature of science. The Centre of Expertise for Environment and Health (CEH), working directly for the Flemish government, is a good example of the relevance of the approach in environment and health research. It also exemplifies the need for a social science contribution. Moreover, it illustrates the complicatedness of such an endeavour in practice. The approach will not make work easier in all respects, but it will enhance the quality by respecting the complexity of real world problems.
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