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42. Political polarization in sustainability science? (Örjan Bodin)

March 2024


Sustainability science, which includes conservation biology and various other environmental studies, is not a “hard science” like physics or mathematics. Nevertheless, one might expect it to be reasonably independent of political affiliation. But is this the case? If not, what is the problem with leaning too far in one political direction, especially if that direction is left and generally considered to be “pro environment”? If it is a problem, what can we do about it?

Örjan Bodin is a sustainability scientist at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, who has thought a lot about this topic and published a recent paper on it. Örjan is quick to point out that he has not formally studied political polarization. However, with decades of research experience in sustainability science, he provides some compelling reasons why we should pay attention to this overlooked but potentially highly consequential issue.

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