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!
A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine