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Sustainability Science

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  1. Sustainability Science

  2. Sustainability Science • Sustainable Development or Sustainability

  3. Sustainability Science • A simply search on the web would reveal hundreds of definitions of sustainability and sustainable development

  4. Sustainability Science • The phrase "sustainable development" or “sustainability” means different things to different people

  5. Sustainability Science • Sustainability is bla, bla, bla… • Sustainable Development is bla, bla, bla • Sustainability or Sustainable Development is bla, bla, bla…

  6. Sustainability Science • “What do we want sustainability or Sustainable Development to mean?

  7. Sustainability Science • To an ecologist, sustainability is the ability of ecosystems, such as a lake ecosystem, to maintain its structure and function and to remain resilient in order to continue to give and support life. • To an economist, sustainability is the ability of the market to optimally allocate scarce resources, to send proper price signals, to provide a mechanism for investment, and to maintain a healthy labour market. • To a sociologist, sustainability is the ability of individuals and communities to remain in good health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and ensure equity among and between generations.

  8. Sustainability Science • Some people have started to say that sustainability is a process of change and not an end state, and that it’s the journey that counts, not the destination.

  9. Sustainable Development • "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." --The World Commission on Environment and Development, Brundtland Commission 1987

  10. Environment Society Economy

  11. Is it Science? • The average person has 8 sexual fantasies a day, and 16 laughs • 10 percent of the Japanese have I.Q above 130 • The average length of sexual intercourse for humans is 2 minutes; for chimpanzees is 7 seconds • Approximately 15,000 scientific and technical articles are published each day

  12. Is it Science? • Where do these numbers come from? • Are they true? • What do they mean?

  13. The quality of the news • Personal experience • Beliefs and expectations

  14. Explanation, Speculation, Theory • Observation- Facts or fuzzies • Which current events are tied together? • What events in the past caused them? • What events will they cause or lead to in future?

  15. Explanation, Speculation, Theory • Cause and effects (Antecedents and consequences) • What led to the touchdown? • The intercepted pass • Yes, but that was caused by poor blocking • Yes, and don’t forget about the intended receiver being out of position • Yes, and don’t forget that the coach threw that new quarter in without having prepared him for such an emergency by giving him some previous big-game experience • So, What really “caused” the touchdown

  16. SCIENCE • Science refers to the organized body of knowledge concerning the physical world, both animate and inanimate, but a proper definition would also have to include the attitudes and methods through which this body of knowledge is formed; thus, a science is both a particular kind of activity and also the results of that activity.

  17. Initial conceptual framework • It is my reality. • How I see the System. • Which are their elements, relations or interrelations, dynamics, etc

  18. Language of Science • Reality is multilayered • Some layers are visible • Some layers only can be perceived or imagined

  19. Language of Science • Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside • Which layer is true? • Laughing on the outside (objective) • crying on the inside (subjective)

  20. Language of Science • Science= Observations + Speculations

  21. Understanding Science • Since antecedents and consequences frequently contain large regions of uncertainty, and since interesting question come surrounded with more antecedents than we can see or imagine, it is required more than casual curiosity and casual observation to solve them.

  22. The Scientific Method • Key Ingredients: • Compelling curiosity • Systematic Observation • Systematic experimentation

  23. Compelling curiosity • It is the engine of science. Whether the goal is prediction, control or understanding, it requires a combination of persistence and fascination to map and untangle the complex and shifting network of antecedents and consequences

  24. Systematic Observation • Researcher don’t believe all they’re told, read and seen. • Systematic observation is aimed to reduce the regions of uncertainty

  25. Systematic experimentation • The popular view of science highlights gaining control over physical and social networks though experimentation.

  26. The Scientific Method • Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena. • Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation. • Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations. • Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

  27. Sustainability Science • Unfortunately in most of the cases, for necessity or preference, sustainability researcher can’t or don’t try to manipulate or control the network of antecedents and consequences under observation. Therefore, they limit themselves to making accurate description or prediction of the networks.

  28. Qualitative Research • It focuses on meaning and interpretations. • It provides a sophisticated research strategy to understand how and why people act in particulate ways.

  29. Theoretical Frameworks • A theory is a set of propositions about relationships between several concepts. Different theoretical frameworks direct attention to different aspects of a phenomenon

  30. General Systems Theory • The General Systems Theory outlined the essential elements for understanding factors in the context of a dynamic system • Findings answers to the research questions, rather than developing a specific hypothesis to be tested

  31. General Systems Theory • Under the general systems theory, it is possible to understand the context of a phenomena with its levels of complexity through the study and conceptualization of each essential element or subsystem as well as their interrelations and interactions with the others subsystems within the whole system.