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InsSciDE’s Environment Objectives, under Nina Cyrén Wormbs (KTH)

Environmental monitoring has historically been associated with military-strategic objectives as well as with today’s more benign motivations. The shifting of issues and practices from one organizational structure to another (less overtly political) structure, or actively de-politicizing a certain activity, are strategies for presenting environmental knowledge as ’above’ rather than ’within’ the political realm. By making environmental monitoring and assessments part and parcel of academic and scientific practice, the distinctly ideological choices of what to monitor, how to monitor and where to monitor are obscured.

Historical case studies of how environmental monitoring programs were developed, and how they were integrated within political decision-making frameworks, are essential to understanding how environmental knowledge functions as a resource for diplomacy.

WP6 objectives are to:
• Study the co-production of environmental monitoring and diplomacy, to understand the general features of environmental policy developed between scientists and diplomats.
• Perform historical analyses that will reveal how environmental monitoring has informed science diplomacy and was shaped by political imperatives; reveal also how environmental monitoring shapes present-day actions.
• Develop theoretical understanding of the boundary zone of environmental monitoring in order to contribute to the transversal work packages. Provide concrete cases of actual monitoring work for discussion in the WP1 interface activities, considering that especially narratives– of success or failure - are a very forceful way of conveying knowledge.
• Reveal how science/diplomacy interactions and initiatives in Europe and elsewhere forged novel studies of environment, and the challenges the proponents of these studies had to face. Cast new light on how climate and environmental change have come to be envisaged as a key global challenge, and highlight their many dimensions in terms of security, resilience, humanitarian aid and peace.
• Suggest a framework for understanding the impact of environmental monitoring on diplomacy and as diplomacy.

WP7 - Environment brings together international science policy experts, media scholars and historians of science, technology and the environment to investigate climate change diplomacy within environmental monitoring, with several cases focusing on the Arctic.

Cases are both historic and contemporary and engage strongly with the media dimensions of environmental knowledge, which affects the overall logic and practice of both science and diplomacy.