Role of the research standpoint in integrating global-scale and local-scale research
Elizabeth L. Malone and S. Rayner
Climate change research is hampered by the gap between two styles of research, raising fundamental issues of standpoint. Interpretive-style researchers see themselves as at the center of the environment, experiencing it from within; their involvement is what allows them to gain knowledge. Descriptive-style researchers see themselves as outside the environment they analyze; their distance is what allows them to gain knowledge. This fundamental difference indicates that attempts to meld the two styles in articulating global-local links are both wrong-headed and doomed to failure. Instead, we should look for complementarities and attempt to bring the differently achieved knowledges to bear on global problems.