Call for first Think-Tank Meeting

Communicating Connectivity

Think-tank meeting as part of the EU-COST Action ES1306

Organisers: Eva Mueller, Tamara Hochstrasser, Tobias Krüger

Date: 28.-29.4. 15

Location: Berlin, Germany

Connectivity is a popular term in scientific discussions across the environmental disciplines. But what does connectivity research involve and ultimately result in, and how can this knowledge been transferred and used in management and policy? The exchange of information between scientists themselves and scientists and practitioners often represents considerable communication challenges. As misunderstandings between hydrologists, ecologists and geomorphologists and modellers and empiricists on the concepts and effects of connectivity research are prevalent, a science-based dialogue with experts outside academia might be considerably hindered and slowed down. The aim of the workshop is therefore a) to overcome perception and communication barriers of environmental scientists from different disciplines talking about connectivity and associated processes, models and indices without understanding each other, and b) to help COST participants to understand how stakeholder communication and engagement is initiated and sustained throughout a research project. Using the concept of connectivity, we will debate how to diagnose and eventually cope with the common failure of communication between scientists and between scientists and stakeholders. Perceptions such as knowledge production and transfer, researcher and stakeholder fatigue, mental models, concept maps, Bayesian learning, valley of death and impact research will be discussed. On this basis, we want to produce a questionnaire that can be used by COST participants to elicit stakeholder needs regarding scientific information on connectivity. Additional output of the workshop will be a short paper or rapid communication for an environmental science journal on how to communicate connectivity and a plan of action on how to approach, involve and cooperate with EU practitioners in current connectivity research.

The workshop is part of the EU-COST Action ‘Connecting European Connectivity Research’ and works towards the transition of connectivity research into policy and management in cooperation with the working group ‘Transdisciplinarity’ of the IAHS Panta Rhei Programme on Change in Hydrology and Society.