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This paper summarizes some of the challenges to science that are posed by the search for sustainability. These challenges are not only technical ones, such as more affordable or reliable equipment for health care, water quality control and refrigeration. There are also fundamental empirical and methodological challenges, such as complexity, irreversibility and uncertainty over the long term, that must be faced for achieving better understanding of our environment and the planets life support systems. Finally, there are moral and procedural challenges for defining the roles of science-based knowledge and poverty reduction, for governance of technological and environmental risks, for sustainable ecosystems management, and for effective communication of scientific information to achieve these goals.

Additional information

Authors: FUNTOWICZ S, ISIS, JRC-Ispra (IT);RAVETZ J, Research Methods Consultancy, London (GB);O'CONNOR M, University of Versailles (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: International Journal on Sustainable Development, 1 (1998) 1, 99-107
Record Number: 199911228 / Last updated on: 1999-08-27
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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