Tales of science and defiance : the case for co-learning and collaboration in bridging the science/emotion divide in water recycling debates

Morgan, Edward Alexander & Grant-Smith, Deanna Chantal Cristina (2015) Tales of science and defiance : the case for co-learning and collaboration in bridging the science/emotion divide in water recycling debates. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58(10), pp. 1770-1788.

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Although science is generally assumed to be well integrated into rational decision-making models, it can be used to destabilise consultative processes, particularly when emotions are involved. Water policies are often seen as debates over technical and engineering issues, but can be highly controversial. Recycled water proposals, in particular, can create highly emotive conflicts. Through a case study regarding the rejection of recycled water proposals in the south-east Queensland, Australia, we explore the influence of science and emotions in contemporary water planning. We highlight the dangers inherent in promoting technical water planning issues at the expense of appropriate consideration of citizen concerns. Combining the science–policy interface and stakeholder engagement literatures, we advocate for collaborative decision-making processes that accommodate emotions and value judgements. A more collaborative stakeholder engagement model, founded on the principles of co-learning, has the potential to broaden the decision-making base and to promote better and more inclusive decision-making.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
4 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 77905
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Scientisation, Emotions, Co-learning, Recycled Water, Collaboration
DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2014.954691
ISSN: 0964-0568
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis Group
Deposited On: 21 Oct 2014 23:57
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 02:01

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