By: J. Peter Taylor
232 pages, 2 b/w photos, 43 line drawings
Contribution to the field of complex systems, with a focus on ecology and environmental science.
From the publisher's announcement:
Ambitiously identifying fresh issues in the study of complex systems, Peter J. Taylor, in a model of interdisciplinary exploration, makes these concerns accessible to scholars in the fields of ecology, environmental science, and science studies. Unruly Complexity explores concepts used to deal with complexity in three realms: ecology and socio-environmental change; the collective constitution of knowledge; and the interpretations of science as they influence subsequent research.
For each realm Taylor shows that unruly complexity-situations that lack definite boundaries, where what goes on "outside" continually restructures what is "inside," and where diverse processes come together to produce change-should not be suppressed by partitioning complexity into well-bounded systems that can be studied or managed from an outside vantage point. Using case studies from Australia, North America, and Africa, he encourages readers to be troubled by conventional boundaries-especially between science and the interpretation of science-and to reflect more self-consciously on the conceptual and practical choices researchers make.
Unruly Complexity makes a strong case that if research is to be successfully implemented in the public discourse, researchers and the public alike must consider the larger web of interactions that influences how scientific knowledge is created and used. - Jeff Gerwing, Portland State University"
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