From Los Alamos Lab via DOE Pulse: “Is sustainability science really a science? Los Alamos and Indiana University researchers say yes”

November 22, 2011
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LANL news media contact: Nancy Ambrosiano

“The idea that one can create a field of science out of thin air, just because of societal and policy need, is a bold concept. But for the emerging field of sustainability science, sorting among theoretical and applied scientific disciplines, making sense of potentially divergent theory, practice and policy, the gamble has paid off.
In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe Institute, and Indiana University analyzed the field’s temporal evolution, geographic distribution, disciplinary composition, and collaboration structure.

‘We don’t know if sustainability science will solve the essential problems it seeks to address, but there is a legitimate scientific practice in place now,’ said Luís Bettencourt of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Santa Fe Institute, first author on the paper, Evolution and structure of sustainability science.

The team’s work shows that although sustainability science has been growing explosively since the late 1980s, only in the last decade has the field matured into a cohesive area of science. Thanks to the emergence of a giant component of scientific collaboration spanning the globe and an array of diverse traditional disciplines, there is now an integrated scientific field of sustainability science as an unusual, inclusive, and ubiquitous scientific practice.”


See the full post here.