Contested modelling: a critical examination of expert modelling in sustainability

Author(s): Yearworth, M., S.E. Cornell
In: Systems Research and Behavioral Science 33: 45 – 63
Year: 2016
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Stewardship
Link to centre authors: Cornell, Sarah
Full reference: Yearworth, M., S.E. Cornell. 2016. Contested modelling: A critical examination of expert modelling in sustainability. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 33: 45 – 63


We discuss the role of expert modelling in sustainability using a framework designed to improve the effectiveness of the modelling process. Based on the development of a set of reflective questions that can be used at certain key stages in the lifecycle of projects developing such models, we discuss how using the framework would lead to improvements in the coupling of the process of expert modelling with the process of intervention, which is implied by the existence of the expert modelling project. This questioning pushes the development of a framework beyond considerations of ontology and epistemology into issues of axiology and praxis; extending the notion of contested modelling beyond the narrow scientific sense to a wider social setting. Our framework has been developed through a case study analysis of the effectiveness of four research initiatives that have used expert modelling to address the complexity of intervention in a sustainability context. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


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