Understanding and Conceptualizing Risk in Large-Scale Social-Ecological Systems

  • Helen Elizabeth AllisonEmail author


Many of the most serious global impacts have emerged from the interaction of human activities in the scientific-technical-industrial system. Changing from largely disciplinary science to multi- and ultimately interdisciplinary science and management requires a new ontology and epistemology to be negotiated to help us understand complexity within the social context and how this relates to risk. This paradigmatic shift currently taking place in science is contributing to the development of new theory and practice. Systems thinking is often considered key to solving ill-defined complex environmental and social problems displaying uncertainty and increased risk. But it is unclear what this thinking is or would be and how it might be progressed in future. For the necessary change to occur I suggest an important step is to integrate the diversity of knowledge through developing a framework to share information across multiple ontologies and epistemologies to gain acceptance across the sciences.


Conceptual Change Epistemological Belief Risk Governance Personal Epistemology Gene Ontology Consortium 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Veterinary and Life SciencesMurdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia

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