Opening up knowledge systems for better responses to global environmental change

Sarah Cornell, Frans Berkhout, Willemijn Tuinstra, J. David Tàbara, Jill Jäger, Ilan Chabay, Bert de Wit, Richard Langlais, David Mills, Peter Moll, Ilona M. Otto, Arthur Petersen, Christian Pohl, Lorrae van Kerkhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

342 Citations (Scopus)


Linking knowledge with action for effective societal responses to persistent problems of unsustainability requires transformed, more open knowledge systems. Drawing on a broad range of academic and practitioner experience, we outline a vision for the coordination and organization of knowledge systems that are better suited to the complex challenges of sustainability than the ones currently in place. This transformation includes inter alia: societal agenda setting, collective problem framing, a plurality of perspectives, integrative research processes, new norms for handling dissent and controversy, better treatment of uncertainty and of diversity of values, extended peer review, broader and more transparent metrics for evaluation, effective dialog processes, and stakeholder participation. We set out institutional and individual roadmaps for achieving this vision, calling for well-designed, properly resourced, longitudinal, international learning programs. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-70
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Knowledge democracy
  • Knowledge systems
  • Mode 2 science
  • Sustainability science


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