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R&D Program: Interactions between Science, Technology, and Society Construction of a pragmatic scientist community contributing to stakeholder-driven management of local environment
Project Outline
Residential Research Institutions
Local Science Network for Environment and Sustainability
Research Organizations
Activities of Research Groups
Field Workshops
Local Science Network for Environment and Sustainability
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Project Outline

This project analyzes the emergence of solution-oriented scientists addressing local environmental issues by field studies in diverse local communities in Japan. In this project, we would like to reveal how scientists are becoming more and more solution-oriented through interactions between residential research institutions, visiting researchers and stakeholders.

We have formed a network comprised of scientists and stakeholders called the Local Science Network for Environment and Sustainability. We intend to make guidelines for collaboration between scientists and stakeholders, and develop systems to evaluate scientific research with the involvement of stakeholders through this network.

Through these activities, we aim at helping build scientific communities in close collaboration with stakeholders throughout Japan that contribute to stakeholder-driven solutions for environmental problems based on local value systems and decision making processes.


In order to solve global environmental problems, a bottom-up approach focusing on down-to-earth efforts in each local community is generally considered effective. Since a local community itself is a complex system comprised of diverse stakeholders with conflicting interests, it is usually very difficult to develop future perspectives of the community in a scientific way. Environmental issues could affect the future of the local community. What is called for in this context is the adaptive management through consensus building among the various stakeholders. It is also notable that the environmental problems of each community have characteristics inherent to the locality. Thus, it is of the utmost importance to build a pragmatic knowledge base through scientific research based on local perspectives.

In many cases, however, solutions proposed by scientists are not adopted by local residents. Instead, these solutions often confuse decision making processes. Such lack of acceptance has thus far been attributed mainly to the lack of scientific literacy among local community stakeholders. The root cause, however, seems to be the fact that scientists tend to disregard local value systems and decision making processes, and the knowledge produced by them has little applicability in real local setups.

Research Approach

In order to effectively improve this situation, there should be a system to facilitate interactions between stakeholders, residential research institutions and visiting researchers in local efforts to address environmental issues. It is also important for such a system to ensure evaluation and feedback from local community stakeholders.

In this context, we have formed the Local Science Network for Environment and Sustainability in order to promote collaboration between scientists and stakeholders. We intend to facilitate change in the science community through feedback from local stakeholders within this network, and thus promote solution-oriented knowledge production focusing on local residents as the users of scientific knowledge. We also work for developing an evaluation system of scientific knowledge production through collaboration with the stakeholders. We seek to promote the balanced assessment of research efforts by involving both the science community and local stakeholders, help establish a new evaluation criterion for science and technology that places emphasis on assessment by stakeholders and practical contribution to solutions, and thus facilitate the maturation of solution-oriented research.


© JST Construction of a pragmatic scientist community contributing to stakeholder-driven management of local environment