Expanding the role for the social sciences
Social research and biodiversity conservation
This 2013 paper by Chris Sandbrook et al. reminds us that the role and place of social research in conservation remains a major source of misunderstanding, miscommunication, and contention among conservation researchers. There are problems of method (e.g., use of both qualitative and quantitative methods in social research), of epistemology (e.g., positivist versus postpositivist, and problem solving versus critical approaches), of understanding (it takes time to become expert in any discipline), and of language (terminology and writing styles can make publications effectively incomprehensible, or at least deeply unattractive and difficult, for people trained in a different discipline). In this article, the authors seek to contribute to interdisciplinary communication and understanding by describing different ways in which conservation social science is framed and acknowledging how those different framings contribute positively to conservation.