The science-policy interface: perceptions and strategies of the Iberian 'new water culture' expert community
ABSTRACT: There is a normative consensus that science should contribute to decision-making in environmental policy, given that science provides a means of understanding natural systems, human impacts upon them, and the consequences of those impacts for human systems. Despite this general agreement, however, the means through which science is transmitted into policy is contested. This paper envisions several of the competing characterisations of the science-policy interface as a continuum with the endpoints of 'fortress science' and 'co-production', and applies this continuum in an empirical analysis of the transboundary expert community promoting a 'new water culture' on the Iberian Peninsula. In engaging directly with members of this community, the paper finds that these characterisations are better seen as strategies among which scientists and their communities may choose and over which they may disagree. These trade-offs and disagreements in turn have implications for policy impact.
KEYWORDS: Water resources management, science-policy interface, New Water Culture, Spain, Portugal