1 Tahrcountry Musings: Social science and conservation

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Social science and conservation

A Guide to Understanding Social Science Research for Natural Scientists
Conservation Biology, Volume 28, Issue 5, pages 1167–1177, October 2014

Conservationists are increasingly depending on social research to study and find solutions to conservation problems.  Conservation problems are commonly social problems.  To get maximum advantage conservationists should have an understanding of the philosophical principles and theoretical assumptions of the discipline, which are embedded in the design of social research. Here the researchers have developed a guide to assist natural scientists in understanding the philosophical basis of social science to support the meaningful interpretation of social research outcomes. The 3 fundamental elements of research are ontology, what exists in the human world that researchers can acquire knowledge about; epistemology, how knowledge is created; and philosophical perspective, the philosophical orientation of the researcher that guides her or his action.  The researchers’ sign off saying the use of their guide can also support and promote the effective integration of the natural and social sciences to generate more insightful and relevant conservation research outcomes.

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