Researchers should study how people's social and personal norms are influenced by behavior and use their insights to help governments promote pro-environmental actions, a distinguished group of scholars writes in the March issue of BioScience.
Governments can influence behaviors by many means, including exhortation, regulation, and financial pressure, as well as in more subtle ways. But ignorance of how behavioral norms change can lead to useless or counterproductive campaigns. There is now a "woeful lack of information" about how policy, behavior, and norms affect each other, Kinzig and her colleagues write.
Anticipating possible objections to an increased role of government in influencing norms, the authors argue that their recommendations can be carried out in a way that "abides by the principles of representative democracy, including transparency, fairness, and accountability." Moreover, they point out, many other parties in democratic systems act to influence personal and social norms, including charitable organizations, corporations, neighborhood groups, and organized religions.
The article provides an agenda for life scientists to tackle. It notes, however, that the academic community will have to change its own norms to "increase its capacity to work with policymakers." Kinzig and her colleagues suggest, among other things, that social and behavioral scientists should more often be included in assessments of environmental trends, to ensure their plausibility.
BioScience, published monthly, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS; www.aibs.org). BioScience is a forum for integrating the life sciences that publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles. The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is a meta-level organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents nearly 160 member societies and organizations. The article by Kinzig and colleagues can be accessed ahead of print at www.aibs.org/bioscience-press-releases/ until early March.
The complete list of peer-reviewed articles in the March, 2013, issue of BioScience is as follows. These are now published ahead of print.Social Norms and Global Environmental Challenges: The complex Interaction of behaviors, Values, and Policy.
Ann P. Kinzig, Paul R. Ehrlich, Lee J. Alston, Kenneth Arrow, Scott Barrett, Timothy G. Buchman, Gretchen C. Daily, Bruce Levin, Simon Levin, Michael Oppenheimer, Elinor Ostrom, and Donald SaariSpatial Extent and dynamics of dam Impacts on Tropical Island Freshwater Fish Assemblages.
Patrick B. Cooney and Thomas J. KwakExplanatory, predictive, and Heuristic Roles of Allometries and Scaling Relationships.
Jani P. RaerinneWinter disturbances and Riverine Fish in Temperate and Cold Regions.
Tim Beardsley | EurekAlert!
More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy