Publication
Title
Critical complexity in environmental health practice : simplify and complexificy
Author
Abstract
The magic word complexity has been buzzing around in science, policy and society for quite some time now. There seems to be a common feel for a new way of doing things, for overcoming the limits of tradition. From the combined perspective of critical complexity thinking and environment and health practice we want to contribute to the development of alternative routines that may help overcome the limitations of traditional environment and health science. On the one hand traditional environment and health science is too self-confident with respect to potential scientific insight in environment and health problems: complexity condemns us to limited and ambiguous knowledge and the need for simplification. A more modest attitude would be more realistic from that point of view. On the other hand from a problem solving perspective more boldness is required. Waiting for Godot (perfect undisputed knowledge) will not help us with respect to the challenges posed to society by environment and health problems. A sense of urgency is legitimate: the paralysis by traditional analysis should be resolved. Nevertheless this sense of urgency should not withhold us from investing in the problem solving quality of our endeavour; quality takes time, fastness from a quality perspective often leads us to a standstill. We propose the concept of critical complexification of environment and health practice that will enable the integration of relevant actors and factors in a pragmatic manner. We will illustrate this with practical examples and especially draw attention to the practical complexities involved, confronting us not only with fundamental questions, but also with fundamental challenges.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Environmental health: a global access science source. - London
Publication
London : 2012
ISSN
1476-069X
Volume/pages
11:S19(2012), p. 1-10
Article Reference
S19
ISI
000306167300019
Medium
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 29.06.2012
Last edited 15.06.2017
To cite this reference