Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-72
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-72
21 Mar 2024
 | 21 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Impacts of science on society and policy in global river basins

Shuanglei Wu and Yongping Wei

Abstract. Radical transformations of knowledge development are required to the sustainability issues in the Anthropocene. This study developed a framework to understand the internal structures of knowledge development with two dimensions: Degree of Multidisciplinarity and Degree of Issue-connectivity. Examining the knowledge development in 72 river basins globally from 1962 to 2017, it was found that the knowledge systems were characterized by intensified issues studied and low and ungrown disciplinary engagement. Evaluating these structural characteristics against 6 impact indicators on society and policy, over 90 % of rivers were found to had knowledge structures that strongly linked to societal impacts whereas only 57 % were to the policy. Analysis were further conducted to find that about 35 % of rivers mostly in Asia, Africa, and South America were prone to knowledge structures that had limited capacities to effectively address negative environmental impacts and resource depletions issues. Improving multidisciplinary research is the key to transforming the current knowledge structure to support more sustainable river basin development.

Shuanglei Wu and Yongping Wei

Status: open (until 17 May 2024)

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Shuanglei Wu and Yongping Wei
Shuanglei Wu and Yongping Wei

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Short summary
This study developed a framework to understand the internal structures of knowledge development and applied in 72 river basins globally from 1962 to 2017. It was found that the knowledge systems were characterized by intensified management issues and low and ungrown disciplinary engagement. It provides empirical understanding on the current state of river basin knowledge, and casts light on convergence research and post normal science for global science-policy integration.