• Cast Off the Shackles of Academia! Use Participatory Approaches to Tackle Real-World Problems With Underserved Populations

      Coppock, D. Layne (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • When scientists or change agents engage other cultures to problem-solve, there is a high risk of miscommunication and project failure. • This process can be further crippled by traditionally rigid, top-down academic approaches that focus investigators on predefined issues lacking relevance to the top-priority concerns of local communities. • Participatory, adaptive methods of public engagement, in contrast, are now being increasingly used in such situations. They help researchers work more effectively by building more authentic partnerships with stakeholders so that real problems and sustainable solutions can be identified. • Such methods can also promote insightful, interdisciplinary science and more effective public service.