Presentation on theme: "Work Package 2 “Available scientific knowledge on relationship between Agriculture and Biodiversity conservation” Paris,19 June 2007, Bruno Tinel."— Presentation transcript:
Work Package 2 “Available scientific knowledge on relationship between Agriculture and Biodiversity conservation” Paris,19 June 2007, Bruno Tinel
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge2 1.Assessing available scientific knowledge on two questions 2.The EBD method 3.biases and difficulties of EB methods 4.How to manage with those problems? 5.What is a Research Programme? 6.Why is the RP notion useful for us? 7.How to use RP in EBP-Biosoc? 8.What do we do now? 9.Examples
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge3 Assessing available scientific knowledge on two questions - Question 1. Which forms of agricultural activity allow to attain diverse types of biodiversity objectives?
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge4 Question 1 Knowledge on causal relations between forms of agricultural activity (practices, structure) and characteristics of biodiversity. Agricultural activity → biodiversity
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge5 Assessing available scientific knowledge on two questions - Question 2. Which measures of protection of biodiversity ensure that the disappearance of small farms is not accelerated?
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge6 Question 2 Knowledge on the differentiated impact of measures to protect biodiversity, on farms with heterogeneous functional and structural characteristics. Conservation measures → agricultural activity
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge7 The EBD method EBD aims at making scientific knowledge accessible for decision makers. → meta-knowledge construction (state of art, meta-analysis) through a specific method of systematic bibliography reviewing.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge8 As Emmanuelle Bénicourt showed us in the last meeting we held (through the tests she made in the field of economics), EBD method is unsatisfying. This is all the more true because we pay attention to empirical knowledge.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge9 biases and difficulties of EB methods : 1.Co-existence of different “research programs” which are not equally represented in publications and citation indexes 2.Difficulty of application of this method to complex problems (involving various research fields and disciplines) 3.Selection of key words, database, etc. may be tricky (quoted from E.Bénicourt’s presentation)
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge10 How to manage with those problems? (1) The main obstacle we met is that EB method doesn’t take into account that, in each field of knowledge, there is not one but at least two (or more) different scientific approaches (complementary and/or in competition), which are not equally represented and obvious in the institutionalized publications and citation indexes.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge11 How to manage with those problems? (2) Connected to this issue is the idea that EB method takes for granted the division between academic disciplines, when it appears in many cases that it isn’t relevant from a scientific point of view. Academic delimitations may be obvious for some approaches in each field of research but for many others there is presumably more than one discipline involved.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge12 How to manage with those problems? (3) How to overtake those obstacles ? by resorting to the notion of Research Programme (RP) elaborated by Imre Lakatos (1970). Qualification: it is not necessary for us to accept all the intellectual apparatus of Lakatos; for example, there is no need for us to endorse his normative view of science, nor to do history of science, but it could be interesting to make an “instrumental” use of RP, especially because it fits the issue well. At this point of our own research, the choice of this tool is thus not really theoretically grounded, it is only justified by practice => we do not need to have a theory of science to do science even if in our case “doing science” means “analyzing science”.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge13 What is a Research Programme? (1) As an introduction, let me quote Catherine Laurent’s paper “Unity of science against the rational construction of knowledge?”, presented in october 2006 for the International Lisbon Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science: “At a given point in time a research programme can be defined as a conceptual unit that coherently combines [three elements]:”
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge14 What is a Research Programme? (2) “(i) a permanent hard core of general theoretical hypotheses which are considered to be irrefutable by those in charge of the programme (e.g. hypotheses relative to the 'rationality' of human behaviours in the social sciences);” = “negative heuristic” Lakatos points out the important idea that RP are not theories in themselves but series of theories.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge15 What is a Research Programme? (3) “(ii) ad hoc protective hypotheses intended to protect this hard core and research under way from the ‘anomalies' which they could encounter, that is, phenomena that are not consistent with the theory and that withstand observation (e.g. all the hypotheses that serve to define the domain of validity of results by adding a clause on everything that has to be covered by 'all things being equal');” (CL) = “the positive heuristic sets out a programme which lists a chain of ever more complicated models simulating reality” (IK)
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge16 What is a Research Programme? (4) “and (iii) hypotheses to be tested, designed to expand the world of explainable facts.” The EBP-Biosoc project has to deal especially with point (iii) when it comes to the two questions about biodiversity and agricultural activity, but this supposes clarifying point (i) and (ii) for the fields of knowledge we are dealing with.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge17 What is a Research Programme? (5) The clarification of points (i) and (ii) will be one of the subjects at issue during this morning’s workshops and this afternoon’s general discussion. It is useful as an illustration and discussion point to consider the example proposed by C. Laurent (2006) from economics (it is less easy to do it in ecology but we try also!):
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge18 Hard core (irrefutable hypotheses) e.g. ad hoc hypotheses (such as behaviours) e.g. fields of hypotheses to test on agriculture Neo-classical economics - Institutions are entities defined by their functional role; the market, in which prices are set, plays a key part in individuals' socialization. - Harmonious economic functioning can be obtained in a context of perfect competition. - Postulate of methodological individualism which maintains that agents' decisions, which are rational, result from internal deliberation. - Individuals have a rational behaviour. Actions are intentional and determined by conscious processes. They are the result of internal deliberation. Irrational behaviours are explained by cultural, biological and other factors whose impact can be eliminated by reasoning in terms of 'all things being equal', based on an individual's behaviour that is representative for particular situations. - Configuration of agricultural markets in a framework of perfect competition. - Models of allocation of resources at the agricultural household level. Heterodox economics Historical institutionalis m - The process of accumulation is decisive in an overall economic dynamic. - It is not spontaneously balanced by the market and competitive dynamic, and has varying forms in space and time. - Institutions and structural forms are decisive for channelling this process through a set of collective and individual behaviours. - Individuals' behaviours are partly determined by their integration in historically constructed institutions. Actions are determined by conscious AND unconscious processes. The emergence of new institutions is explained by the emergence of collective procedures during conflicts … which relate to sociology and to political science. They will be analysed ex-post. - The roles of agriculture in the regulation of regimes of accumulation in different countries. - The evolution of institutional integration of different forms of agricultural activity.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge19 Even if RP can be more easily identified in economics, defining clearly the elements of each RP in this field is not self-evident. there can be different interpretations (see for instance another design of the “perfect competition” -or “neoclassical”- RP presented on next picture by E.B.) this implies discussions between colleagues to make clear the critical points.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge20 NOYAU DURHYPOTHESES AD HOCHYPOTHESES A TESTER Hypothèses sur les agents : - Les agents économiques sont définis de manière fonctionnelle comme consommateurs ou producteurs, sans se soucier de leur appartenance à des classes sociales. - Le consommateur est représenté par sa fonction d’utilité et ses ressources (dotations initiales) - Le producteur est représenté par ses techniques (fonction de production). - Chaque agent, producteur ou consommateur, est un centre de décision unique et autonome (pas de relations entre agents).- le comportement des agents est réduit à un comportement de maximisation sous contrainte : le consommateur choisit le panier de biens consommé en maximisant sa fonction d’utilité sous contrainte budgétaire, le producteur choisit son niveau de production en maximisant sa fonction de profit (sous contrainte de techniques)- les agents sont « preneurs de prix » (price takers) : chaque agent considère qu’il va pouvoir acheter ou vendre tout ce qu’ils veut aux prix donnés (il considère que ses offres et demandes n’ont pas d’incidence sur ces prix) Hypothèses institutionnelles (système complet de marchés) - Pour chaque bien il existe un prix connu par tous les agents (consommateurs et producteurs) mais fixé en dehors d’eux : il n’y a pas d’échanges directs entre agents- ces prix concernent le présent et le futur : il y a absence d’incertitudeLorsque ces conditions (hypothèses) sont réunies : il existe un équilibre général (vecteur de prix qui égalise les offres et demandes individuelles) -il existe des comportements « irrationnels » (agents altruistes, …) -- il existe des situations de « concurrence imparfaite » : situations de monopole, d’oligopole - où les producteurs n’ont plus un comportement de « price taker » -- il existe des « défaillances de marché » : présence d’externalités (activités ayant une incidence sur les autres agents – sans qu’elles ne soient reflétés dans les prix) ou cas des biens collectifs (biens dont la consommation est non divisible et non exclusive). Optimalité au sens de Pareto. Si le modèle ne conduit pas à une situation optimale, c’est qu’il existe un écart entre les hypothèses faites par la théorie (agents rationnels, price takers, isolés, …) et le monde réel. Le modèle n’est pas remis en question : des hypothèses ad hoc sont introduites pour faire tenir le noyau dur.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge21 Why is the RP notion useful for us? (1) “The concept of a research programme thus may serve to overcome several difficulties generated by that of a discipline for an internal analysis. It is a particularly useful tool for circulating within disciplines – and between them – and for comparing different approaches by clarifying the initial hypotheses on which they are based, by showing the approximations they entail, and by specifying the content of the ad hoc hypotheses that reduce the scope of their results.” (C.L., 2006)
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge22 Why is the RP notion useful for us? (2) RP allows to give both a critical analysis and a constructive reassessment of EB method, applied here on two specific questions, which could be more widely resumed by other colleagues already engaged in EBD programmes. This critical reassessment will be a part of the WP2 output. In particular, if the RP hypothesis works well, we will have to treat especially the inter-disciplinarity issue because a given RP can be overlapping on several academic disciplines.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge23 How to use RP in EBP-Biosoc? Two steps : 1.Identify and specify as best as possible the main RP in each discipline and/or field of knowledge in which we are already engaged, having in mind that we will have to : 2.Establish relations of compatibility and incompatibility of RP across disciplines. Roughly, we presume that there exists “super RP” not only between economics and sociology or anthropology but also between social sciences and ecology for instance. This will be more widely discussed during the next workshop (to be held in South Africa in November 2007) but, when designing RP which exist in your field of knowledge, keep in mind that we will have to deal with this new and exiting topic!
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge24 What do we do now? Having in mind that a comprehensive view is out of reach we are left to: Identify the main RP For each RP, map their main publications medium (especially scientific journals but also other medias if necessary) Find the main papers dealing with the two questions about biodiversity and agriculture. Note that an absence of relevant paper in one or another RP is a result in itself. Assess the quality of empirical results (how are the studies selected? what criteria are retained? scientific coherence? axiomatic clarity? empirical methods considered as relevant? Etc. [E.B. 2007]) This question will have to be discussed in November. Synthesis of results through a state of art which takes into account the existence of RP in and across disciplines. Model a proposition for enriching EB method with RP.
EBP-Biosoc 19 June 07Available scientific knowledge25 Example : identifications of RP in economics The following picture (made by E.B.) gives an illustration of the theories composing the main RP in economics. (in french, sorry!)