Inderscience Publishers

Challenges in the use of science for sustainable development

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This paper summarises some of the challenges to science that are posed by the search for sustainability. These challenges are not only technical ones, such as more affordable or reliable equipment for health care, water quality control and refrigeration. There are also fundamental empirical and methodological challenges, such as complexity, irreversibility and uncertainty over the long term, that must be faced for achieving better understanding of our environment and the planet's life-support systems. Finally, there are moral and procedural challenges for defining the roles of science-based knowledge and innovations for poverty reduction, for governance of technological and environmental risks, for sustainable ecosystems management, and for effective communication of scientific information to achieve these goals.

Keywords: partnership, post-normal science, quality assurance, uncertainty, sustainable development

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