Beyond Communication: Understanding the decision context for the use of climate information in practice

Authors: Lisa Dilling*, University of Colorado Boulder, Rebecca Page, University of Colorado Boulder
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Communication, Sustainability Science
Keywords: usable science, climate, decision making, water
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Napoleon B3, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Scientists are increasingly taking on the challenge of making their research more “usable” in decision making. For information to be usable in practice, it must be relevant, timely, accessible, credible, and trusted. What these criteria actually mean, however, can differ depending on the decision maker and the context of the decision being considered. We will start with a brief overview of the conceptual and empirical underpinnings for our understanding of what constitutes “usable science,” and the role of decision context and science production processes in facilitating or limiting use. We will then present results from an interdisciplinary study on the decision context of 5 water systems from the Western slope of Colorado, examining in particular their existing use of information, perception of vulnerabilities, timing of decisions, and the flexibility they have to consider new information. Finally, we will conclude with implications for researchers interested improving the usability of information in their own fields.

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