Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

Translational ecology is a comparatively new approach to the pursuit of ecology and other environmental sciences, the implications of which for environmental law have not previously been explored significantly. Emulating the concepts of translational medicine, proponents of transactional ecology seek to increase the relevance of their research to important environmental problems by improving how effectively they communicate research results to end users of that science, collaborating with those end users to identify research that is “actionable” rather than purely “curiosity-driven” or theoretical, recognizing that values as well as science have a legitimate role in environmental decisions, and engaging in ongoing dialogues about the relationship between science and other issues and values to build trust across disciplines. Several major federal environmental statutes provide examples of ways in which the practice of translational ecology could contribute to better implementation of environmental laws. More broadly, translational ecology has the potential to transform the relationship between science and law in setting and implementing environmental policy.

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