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global environmental change

ISSC Climate Change Design Project

Within the field of climate change research, and global environmental change research more generally, the demand for social science knowledge and the importance of integrating the social and natural sciences is now widely recognised and promoted by many research networks and international initiatives.

Social sciences are key to understanding and addressing important questions about environment and society relationships: for example, the role of values beliefs and world views in the perception of climate risks and capacity to adapt; the changing dynamics between individuals and groups in networked societies; the influence of interests, identities and power in developing effective responses to climate change.

These types of questions, and the increased acknowledgement of their significance, justify a call for the social sciences to take the lead in developing a new science of climate change, and to provide knowledge and practice for more effective ways to respond to climate change for equitable sustainability.

As a response to the increased demand for social science research on climate change, and the lack of adequate research funding at the global level to meet that demand, the ISSC is currently undertaking a Climate Change Design Project, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The project, which will run until June 2012, intends to design a 10-year global climate change research funding and coordination initiative for social science research on climate change and broader GEC. This is to be achieved in collaboration with ISSC members, programmes, partners and the wider international social science research, funding, and policy communities.

For further information on the project’s objective, structure, outcomes & outputs, and governance, please download the project brochure here.


ISSC CCDP Pillar One: The Knowledge Agenda

The aim of this pillar was to establish a consolidated global change research agenda for the social sciences, drawing also on existing international agenda setting activities. This work resulted in a conceptual framework called the “Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change”:


ISSC CCDP Pillar Three: Making Knowledge Work

The aim of this pillar was to understand best practice in the science-policy and society interfaces, securing effective and timely interaction with policy makers and finding ways of engaging civil society actors, industry and other stakeholders in the co-production of knowledge. This work resulted in a set of recommendations for the eventual 10-year programme and beyond:


ISSC CCDP Mapping Exercise: Outputs

One of the cross-cutting activities of the ISSC Climate Change Design Project is a mapping exercise that attempts to map key elements and trends of the global GEC social science research landscape.

This activity is split into many smaller actions, the results of which will be published here as they become available.