Conservation and the social sciences/conservation social science?

Discussion date:

23 July 2019

Discussion Description:

This session looks at a number of recent proposals that, in one way or another, advocate developing the relationship between conservation thought and practice and social scientific methods, insights and analytical frameworks. We consider how each proposal depicts the social sciences and related notions (e.g. ‘qualitative’ or ‘social’ research) and how they envisage the relationship between conservation and the social sciences.


Bennett, N. J., Roth, R., Klain, S. C., et al. 2017. Conservation social science: Understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation. Biological Conservation 205: 93-108.

Sandbrook, C., Adams, W. M., Büscher,, B. and Vira, B. 2013. Social Research and Biodiversity Conservation. Conservation Biology 27:1487-1490.

Sutherland, W. J., Dicks, L. V., Everard, M., & Geneletti, D. 2018. Qualitative methods for ecologists and conservation scientists. Methods Ecology and Evolution 9:7–9.

and a response to Sutherland et al. 2018:

Moon, K., Blackman, D. A., Adams, V. M., Colvin, R. M., Davila, F., Evans, M. C., … & Sherren, K. (2019). Expanding the role of social science in conservation through an engagement with philosophy, methodology, and methods. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10(3): 294-302.

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