584 research outputs found

    Managing expectations:Articulating expertise in climate services for agriculture in Belize

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    A range of institutions and individuals are engaging in the provision, translation, and application of scientific climate information, with the aim of supporting agricultural decision-making in the context of climate variability and change. This article contributes to understanding political and ethical dimensions of climate services by focusing on how expertise is articulated by those who deliver anticipatory information to potential users. The article draws on interviews and observations with forecasters, advisors, and decision-makers in Belize—a low-lying, coastal country recognised to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. I show how emerging debates over who and what is left out of climate services are not only about the use and usability of climate knowledge, but about how individuals and institutions are positioned in relation to each other and to uncertain futures in Belize and elsewhere

    When climatologists meet social scientists: ethnographic speculations around interdisciplinary equivocations

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    This article argues for the need to address the fact that a large amount of conflict over environmental knowledge occurs inside the academy, against the commonsensical perception that it is a mark of the relationship between science and non-science. It proposes a conceptual speculative exercise that uses a framework presented by indigenous ethnology, specifically the theory of Amerindian perspectivism, to address tensions among scientific disciplines in interdisciplinary work. Ethnographic vignettes about contentious encounters between climatologists/meteorologists and social scientists are used as methodological and analytical resources. The paper argues for a non-platonic approach to interdisciplinarity, suggesting that a more productive and realistic attitude treats the collaboration of different disciplines as a case of alliance among “enemies”, with the caveat that the concept of enemy should be understood here in terms of the relational philosophies of Amerindian peoples, where antagonistic difference is valued for its constitutive and productive effects on reality.   Este artigo sustenta ser necessário abordar o fato de que boa parte dos conflitos em torno do conhecimento ambiental ocorre dentro da academia, ao contrário do que sugere o senso comum, que entende tais conflitos como característicos da relação entre ciência e não ciência. Propõe-se aqui um exercício especulativo conceitual que utiliza a abordagem oferecida pela etnologia indígena, e, mais especificamente, pela teoria do perspectivismo ameríndio, para tratar do conflito entre disciplinas científicas no trabalho interdisciplinar. Relatos etnográficos sobre casos de conflito entre meteorologistas e cientistas sociais são usados como recurso metodológico e analítico. O artigo defende uma abordagem não platônica da interdisciplinaridade e sugere ser mais produtiva e realista uma abordagem que trate a colaboração entre diferentes disciplinas como um caso de aliança entre “inimigos”, com a ressalva de que o conceito de inimigo deve estar fundado na forma como as filosofias relacionais dos povos ameríndios o entendem, em um contexto em que a diferença antagônica é valorizada por seus efeitos constitutivos e produtivos sobre a realidade

    Climate change reception studies in anthropology

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    Reckoning resources:Political lives of anticipation in Belize’s water sector

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    Participants in Belize’s water sector encounter challenges in identifying and living within shifting environments, and in conducting the work of expectation given ambiguities in rainfall patterns, historical records, institutional resources and political interests. Policymakers, scientists and practitioners generate and organise different kinds of foreknowledge as they anticipate future quantities, qualities and distribution of water, amid questions about the patterning of expertise and the nature of water as a resource. I present three ethnographic vignettes to address: the navigation of nonknowledge in water policy implementation; the frictions that arise in modelling workshops where trainees generate data-driven maps of future environments; and the situated sensing of environmental change. Building on a concept of ‘reckoning’ that highlights cross-cutting technical, relational, political and affective dimensions of meaning-making, I situate these foreknowledge practices in the socio-material contexts of environmental perception, socio-economic development, and the political lives of anticipation

    Une analyse longitudinale (1975-2005) de l’évolution de la profession ressources humaines

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    La présente étude longitudinale, dans le prolongement de celle réalisée précédemment par Haines et Arcand (1997), vise à retracer et à analyser l’évolution de la profession ressources humaines sur une période de trois décennies, tout en situant cette évolution dans la perspective théorique de la professionnalisation (Wilensky, 1964).Pour ce faire, les chercheurs ont eu recours à l’analyse de contenu d’annonces de recrutement portant sur les emplois en gestion des ressources humaines parues dans le quotidien La Presse du samedi dans la section « carrières et professions » en 1975, 1985, 1995 et 2005. Les auteurs ont ensuite émis cinq hypothèses relatives à l’évolution des rôles et sept hypothèses relatives à l’évolution des compétences des professionnels en ressources humaines. Ces hypothèses sont, pour la plupart, confirmées. Ainsi, les résultats de l’étude tendent à démontrer une évolution marquée des exigences auxquelles doivent répondre les professionnels, notamment en termes de rôles et de compétences. Plus spécifiquement, les conclusions sont à l’effet que la profession ressources humaines a suivi un parcours marqué par l’appropriation d’un rôle stratégique et par une diversification des compétences. La période de référence de trente ans serait notamment marquée par l’augmentation de la demande pour un diplôme de deuxième cycle, une augmentation de la demande pour une expérience de travail dans le secteur d’activité qui recrute ainsi que par l’augmentation de la demande pour des connaissances telles la maîtrise de l’informatique, de l’anglais parlé ou écrit et d’habiletés comme l’esprit d’équipe, la communication et le leadership.Considérant le rôle important des professionnels en ressources humaines tant dans l’entreprise que dans le système de relations industrielles, alors même que l’on questionne à la fois l’avenir de la profession et sa légitimité sociale (Kochan, 2007), les résultats ont permis de dégager certaines pistes d’interventions, lesquelles devraient intéresser les personnes qui se préparent à exercer la profession, les institutions d’enseignements et les associations regroupant des professionnels en ressources humaines.The present longitudinal study, which extends the one previously conducted by Haines and Arcand (1997), aims to revisit and analyse the evolution of the human resources profession over a period of three decades from a theoretical perspective of professionalization (Wilensky, 1964).To do this, the researchers took the approach of analysing the content of recruitment adverts for jobs in human resource management which appeared in the Saturday editions of La Presse newspaper in the “careers and professions” section in 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2005. The authors then put forward five hypotheses relating to the evolution of roles, and seven hypotheses relating to the development of skills of those professionals working in the human resources field. These hypotheses are, for the most part, confirmed. Hence, the results of the study demonstrate a marked development in the requirements that professionals have to meet, notably in terms of their roles and skills. More specifically, the findings show that the human resources profession has followed a path marked by the appropriation of a strategic role and skill diversification. Particularly significant during the thirty year period under review is the increase in the requirement for a master’s degree, for work experience in the sector of the recruiting firm as well as greater requirements for knowledge, such as competence in information technology, language skills and having skills in areas such as fostering teamwork, communication and leadership.Considering the important role of human resource professionals in the firm, as well as in the industrial relations system, and current debates about the future of the profession and its social legitimacy (Kochan, 2007), the results highlight a number of findings that will be of interest to those people preparing to become human resource professionals as well as to teaching institutions and associations who bring human resource professionals together.El presente estudio longitudinal, en continuidad aquel realizado anteriormente por Haines y Arcand (1997), pretende reconstituir y analizar la evolución de la profesión en recursos humanos durante un periodo de tres décadas, situando esta evolución en la perspectiva teórica de la profesionalización (Wilensky, 1964).Para ello, los investigadores han utilizado el análisis de contenido de anuncios de empleo dirigidos a profesionales en gestión de recursos humanos aparecidos en el periódico La Presse del sábado, sección “carreras y profesiones” en 1975, 1985, 1995 y 2005. Luego, los autores han emitido cinco hipótesis con respecto al a evolución de los roles y siete hipótesis respecto a la evolución de las competencias de los profesionales en recursos humanos. En su mayoría, estas hipótesis son confirmadas. Así, los resultados del estudio tienden a demostrar una evolución marcada por las exigencias a las cuales deben responder los profesionales, particularmente en términos de roles y competencias. Concretamente, las conclusiones indican que la profesión en recursos humanos ha seguido una trayectoria marcada por la apropiación de un rol estratégico y por una diversificación de competencias. El periodo de referencia de treinta años estaría particularmente marcado por el aumento de la demanda de un diploma de segundo grado, un aumento de la demanda de una experiencia de trabajo en el sector de actividad pertinente y, así mismo, por el aumento de la demanda de conocimientos tales que la destreza en informática, en inglés hablado y escrito y de habilidades como el espíritu de equipo, la comunicación y el liderazgo.Considerando el rol importante de los profesionales en recursos humanos tanto en la empresa como en el sistema de relaciones industriales, aunque se cuestiona así mismo el futuro de la profesión y su legitimidad social (Kochan, 2007), los resultados han permitido despejar ciertas pistas de intervención que deberían interesar a las instituciones de educación y a las asociaciones de profesionales en recursos humanos

    Enhancing drought monitoring and early warning for the UK through stakeholder co-enquiries

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    Drought is widely written about as a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon, with complexity arising not just from biophysical drivers, but also human understanding and experiences of drought and its impacts. This has led to a proliferation of different drought definitions and indicators, creating a challenge for the design of drought monitoring and early warning (MEW) systems, which are a key component of drought preparedness. Here, we report on social learning workshops conducted in the UK aimed at improving the design and operation of drought MEW systems, as part of a wider international project including parallel events in the USA and Australia. We highlight key themes for MEW design and use: ‘types’ of droughts; indicators and impacts; uncertainty; capacity and decision-making; communications; and governance. We shed light on the complexity of drought through the multiple framings of the problem by different actors, and how this influences their needs for MEW. Our findings suggest that MEW systems need to embrace this complexity and strive for consistent messaging while also tailoring information for a wide range of audiences in terms of the drought characteristics, temporal and spatial scales, and impacts that are important for their particular decision-making processes. We end with recommendations to facilitate this approach

    Drought: understanding and reducing vulnerability through monitoring and early warning systems

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    DrIVER project report. Report of the DrIVER workshop, 17 March 2015, Wallingford, UK

    Energy-led retrofitting of solid wall dwellings - technical and user perspectives on airtightness

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    Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is increasingly being promoted in the UK as a means of reducing the CO2 emissions from dwellings, and installers report growing activity in the retrofit market. In parallel with a survey of householder preferences and practices, the behaviour of a whole-house MVHR system installed in an experimental house, purpose built to typical 1930s standards, has been simulated. The range of air permeability values corresponded to those achieved in a retrofit upgrading process carried out on the house. In the house considered, air permeability, as measured in a 50 Pa pressurisation test, must be reduced below 5 m3/m2.h for MVHR to make an overall energy and CO2 saving. This required a level of disruption that would be unlikely to be tolerated by owners of solid wall dwellings

    Energy-led retrofitting of solid wall dwellings: technical and user perspectives on airtightness

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    Purpose – Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is increasingly being promoted in the UK as a means of reducing the CO2 emissions from dwellings, and installers report growing activity in the retrofit market. However, the airtightness of a dwelling is a crucially important factor governing the achievement of CO2 reductions, and the purpose of this paper is to understand the technical implications of airtightness levels in an experimental dwelling, purpose built to typical 1930s standards, at the same time as gaining the users’ perspectives on airtightness and ventilation in their homes. Design/methodology/approach – In-depth interviews were carried out with 20 households to collect information on their retrofit and improvement strategies, attitudes to energy saving and their living practices as they impinge on ventilation. The experimental house was sealed in a series of interventions, leading to successive reductions in the air permeability as measured by a 50?Pa pressurisation test. The behaviour of a whole-house MVHR system installed in the experimental house, was simulated using IES Virtual Environment, using a range of air permeability values corresponding to those achieved in the retrofit upgrading process. Findings – In the house considered, air permeability must be reduced below 5?m3/m2h for MVHR to make an overall energy and CO2 saving. However, to achieve this required a level of disruption that, on the basis of the views expressed, would be unlikely to be tolerated by owners of solid wall dwellings. Originality/value – The paper is the first to combine results from a user-centred approach to exploring the existing practices of householders with a simulation of the energy and CO2 performance at different levels of airtightness of an experimental house in which MVHR has been installed

    Energy-led domestic retrofit: impact of the intervention sequence

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    Interviews conducted with householders reveal that energy efficiency is often a lesser motivation than other factors for undertaking home improvement work. Homeowners' approach to refurbishment is typically staged over several years, not as a whole house retrofit. As the operational performance of an individual emission-reducing technology typically depends on what other measures are already in place, the retrofit intervention sequence can potentially affect the overall performance of the dwelling. The impact of the intervention sequence on a semi-detached 1930s house is investigated with dynamic thermal modelling, using five sequences based on different homeowner personas developed from qualitative interviews. The results show that, whilst a whole house retrofit would reduce cumulative CO2 emissions over 25 years by 54%, the sequences actually implemented by the individual households result in significantly smaller reductions of between 42% and 24%. This variation in operational performance due to the intervention sequence means that there is a variable return on the investment for a particular technology and, significantly, that different sequences will yield different cumulative emission reductions. This has significant consequences for policies providing financial incentives for energy-led retrofit, particularly to include the intervention sequence and timing
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