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Sustainability Science

A Multidisciplinary Approach

image of Sustainability Science
Sustainability science is an academic discipline that emerged in response to threats to the sustainability of the global environment. Its purpose is to help build a sustainable society by developing solutions to climate change, the exhaustion of resources, ecological destruction and other environmental crises that threaten the future of humanity. Sustainability science seeks comprehensive, integrated solutions to complex problems and a restructuring of education and research that spans multiple disciplines. It demands the development of policies that protect the natural and cultural diversity of different regions and promotes the physical and economic health of their inhabitants. This volume offers approaches to the development of a transdisciplinary perspective that embraces natural, social and human sciences in the quest for a sustainable society. It also strives for a global perspective while incorporating the wisdom and experience of local societies.

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Social science and knowledge for sustainability

What does social science have to offer to sustainability’ There are already working examples of the application of social scientific tools to sustainability-related problems, such as environmental cost/benefit analysis, emissions trading, conflict resolution techniques, institutional analysis of common property management and re-appreciation of indigenous knowledge. These contributions, ranging from economics to anthropology, are no doubt significant and often contain practical implications; however, they also force us to wonder whether contributions by the social sciences should be limited to providing practical tools and techniques alone.

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