Scholar and Practitioner Views on Science in Environmental Assessment
This study investigated the views of environmental assessment (EA) scholars and practitioners on science in EA. Fifty-six online survey responses were received, including 35 scholars and 21 practitioners; thirteen practitioners were interviewed. The study indicates that EA scholars were more dissatisfied with the quality of science in EA than the practitioners and their perceptions were found to be related to their understanding of science and underlying expectations of scientific practices in EA. This study confirms a gap between science inside and outside EA. Factors contributing to the barriers to filling this gap include EA stakeholders’ different understandings of and expectations for the quality of science, the role of scholars in EA, and the purpose and objectives of EA. These disagreements imply insufficient and/or ineffective communications among EA stakeholders, which should be addressed if a more collaborative arrangement is to be developed for improvements in the quality of science in EA.