Environmental Literacy in Science and Society: From Knowledge to Decisions. By Roland W. Scholz. Cambridge University Press: New York, USA, 2011; Hardback, 631 pp; ISBN 978-0-521-19271-2; Paperback, ISBN 978-0-521-18333-8

Ralph Hansmann
2012 Sustainability  
The book Environmental Literacy in Science and Society contributes to the scientific understanding and sustainability-oriented management of Human-Environment Systems (HES) based on processes of transdisciplinarity and mutual learning. It presents a historical analysis, and modern explanations, of crucial concepts and developments regarding environmental literacy in science and society. In addition, it presents an original framework for the analysis of HES in which these are seen as
more » ... coupled transactional systems. This framework is applied in the book to sustainability learning and decision making in real-world problem-solving processes with respect to complex, illdefined problems that pose threads to the balance of certain aspects of HES or to the anthroposphere as a whole. The assumption of a distinctive and complementary relationship between "reality" and its functional (re)construction in human systems based on perceptual, cognitive and communicative epistemic processes referring to Egon Brunswik's lens model and theory of probabilistic functionalism [1], which also entails possibilities for profound misconceptions of reality, is a central cornerstone of the HES framework. Therefore, applying this framework requires the integration of multiple epistemic sources and facets through inter-and transdisciplinary processes of mutual learning between science and society. This is meant to maximise the potential for an appropriate analysis, an adequate conceptualisation and an in depth understanding of sustainability issues. Thus, the potential for generating viable strategies and options, as well as for having functional decision making or transition management, shall be maximised. The manifold forms of synthesis that can contribute to this goal include integrating varying perspectives of scientific disciplines (e.g., the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences), modes of thought (e.g., analytic thinking and intuitive thinking), forms of knowledge (qualitative and quantitative, scientific and experiential), interests (e.
doi:10.3390/su4050863 fatcat:k4ucqr2qinc2najvtsynqekobm