, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 230–233 | Cite as

Pragmatism (or Realism) in Research: Is There an Ecohealth Scope of Practice?

  • Craig Stephen
  • Theresa Burns
  • Ana Riviere-Cinnamond

In issue 12(4) of Ecohealth, Burns and Stephen (2015) examined how ecohealth might align with emerging infectious disease priorities. In preparing that paper, the question was asked, “What are the criteria to judge whether ecohealth is the right approach?” A scope of practice defines the responsibilities and problems that set boundaries within which a profession effectively and competently practices. We faced three problems when trying to define ecohealth’s scope of practice. First, most published work assessing research suitability focuses on post-project evaluation rather than specifying in advance the questions or situations for which an approach is best suited. Second, there are no universal criteria to judge methodological suitability or quality. Criteria are affiliated with discipline or philosophy of knowledge used by the evaluators. Being multi- to transdisciplinary, ecohealth struggles to identify which of these criteria are most suitable. Third, socio-ecosystems are...


Journal Impact Factor Abductive Reasoning Pragmatic Philosophy Limited Evidence Base Pragmatic Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported in part through a grant from the International Development Research Centre.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig Stephen
    • 1
  • Theresa Burns
    • 2
  • Ana Riviere-Cinnamond
    • 3
  1. 1.Canadian Wildlife Health CooperativeUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Coastal HealthNanaimo British ColumbiaNanaimoCanada
  3. 3.IHR, Alert and Response, Epidemic, Pandemic and Water-Borne Diseases Unit (IR), Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis Department (CHA)Pan-American Health Organization / World Health OrganizationLimaPeru

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