Perceptions of American and Russian environmental scientists of today’s key environmental issues: a comparative analysis

  • Nikolai Dronin
  • Alina Bychkova


Modern science is global. This is particularly true of environmental science, which has been guided to a considerable extent by international environmental policy. Accordingly, one might expect the standards of scientific research around the globe to have unified over the last 30 years. Yet environmental scientists from different nations and scientific schools have demonstrably dissimilar views on key environmental issues. This is the conclusion we reached after a series of in-depth interviews with prominent American and Russian environmental scientists. The greatest difference was found in the perception of two global issues—stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change.


Global environmental issues Climate change Ozone depletion American environmental scientists Russian environmental scientists 



The research on which this account is based was initiated within the framework of a Fulbright fellowship granted to Nikolai Dronin. The first author is grateful to the Robert Wagner School of Public Management of New York University and in particular to Professor Dennis Smith who warmly hosted and guided him and to whose memory this article is dedicated. Dr. John Francis was a key inspiration to the author in undertaking this research, and his help in shaping of the paper was enormous. We also thank Ronald Witt from the UNEP/DEWA (Geneva) for his editing and for insightful comments on the paper. Last but not least, the authors would like thank all the participants in the interviews.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of GeographyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussian Federation
  2. 2.Faculty of Social SciencesNational Research University Higher School of EconomicsMoscowRussian Federation

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