CR 19:173-178 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/cr019173

Role of the research standpoint in integrating global-scale and local-scale research

Elizabeth L. Malone1,*, Steve Rayner2

1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory**, 901 D Street, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20024, USA
2School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, 420 West 118th Street, 8th Floor, New York, New York 10027, USA
*E-mail: **Operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC06-76RLO 1830

ABSTRACT: Climate change research is hampered by the gap between 2 styles of research, raising fundamental issues of standpoint. Interpretive-style researchers see themselves as at the center of the environment, experiencing it from within; their involvement is what allows them to gain knowledge. Descriptive-style researchers see themselves as outside the environment they analyze; their distance is what allows them to gain knowledge. This fundamental difference in standpoint indicates that attempts to meld the 2 styles of research in articulating global-local links are unrealistic and doomed to failure. Instead, we should look for complementarities and attempt to bring the differently achieved knowledge to bear on global problems.

KEY WORDS: Interdisciplinary research · Global-local links · Social sciences

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