Moving socio-hydrologic modelling forward

unpacking hidden assumptions, values and model structure by engaging with stakeholders: reply to “What is the role of the model in socio-hydrology?”*

V. Srinivasan, M. Sanderson, M. Garcia, Megan Konar, G. Blöschl, Murugesu Sivapalan

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Abstract

The arguments presented in Melsen et al. advance ideas in the “Panta Rhei” decade (2013–2022) of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, which focuses on change in hydrology and society. While we reiterate that, despite acknowledged shortcomings, the enterprise of integrating societal feedbacks into hydrological models is beneficial in prediction and adaptive management, we also agree with the sentiments of the authors. In response, we offer concrete steps the socio-hydrologic community can take to educate modellers to become aware about unconscious biases embedded in model structure and clearly communicate assumptions. We stress the need for “knowledge brokers” that can help modellers work with stakeholders, instead of doing everything themselves. We also caution, however, against the danger of over-reaching. Young scholars already pay a big price by having to master both the natural and social sciences. As coupled human–water problems increase in societal importance, along with calls for more holistic thinking, we also need to promote an academic culture that rewards reaching across the aisle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1444-1446
Number of pages3
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Volume63
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018

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forward modeling
hydrology
stakeholder
adaptive management
prediction
need
natural science
social science
society
price
young
science

Keywords

  • interdisciplinary
  • knowledge brokers
  • modelling
  • social-construction
  • socio-hydrology
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

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title = "Moving socio-hydrologic modelling forward: unpacking hidden assumptions, values and model structure by engaging with stakeholders: reply to “What is the role of the model in socio-hydrology?”*",
abstract = "The arguments presented in Melsen et al. advance ideas in the “Panta Rhei” decade (2013–2022) of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, which focuses on change in hydrology and society. While we reiterate that, despite acknowledged shortcomings, the enterprise of integrating societal feedbacks into hydrological models is beneficial in prediction and adaptive management, we also agree with the sentiments of the authors. In response, we offer concrete steps the socio-hydrologic community can take to educate modellers to become aware about unconscious biases embedded in model structure and clearly communicate assumptions. We stress the need for “knowledge brokers” that can help modellers work with stakeholders, instead of doing everything themselves. We also caution, however, against the danger of over-reaching. Young scholars already pay a big price by having to master both the natural and social sciences. As coupled human–water problems increase in societal importance, along with calls for more holistic thinking, we also need to promote an academic culture that rewards reaching across the aisle.",
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author = "V. Srinivasan and M. Sanderson and M. Garcia and Megan Konar and G. Bl{\"o}schl and Murugesu Sivapalan",
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AU - Blöschl, G.

AU - Sivapalan, Murugesu

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N2 - The arguments presented in Melsen et al. advance ideas in the “Panta Rhei” decade (2013–2022) of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, which focuses on change in hydrology and society. While we reiterate that, despite acknowledged shortcomings, the enterprise of integrating societal feedbacks into hydrological models is beneficial in prediction and adaptive management, we also agree with the sentiments of the authors. In response, we offer concrete steps the socio-hydrologic community can take to educate modellers to become aware about unconscious biases embedded in model structure and clearly communicate assumptions. We stress the need for “knowledge brokers” that can help modellers work with stakeholders, instead of doing everything themselves. We also caution, however, against the danger of over-reaching. Young scholars already pay a big price by having to master both the natural and social sciences. As coupled human–water problems increase in societal importance, along with calls for more holistic thinking, we also need to promote an academic culture that rewards reaching across the aisle.

AB - The arguments presented in Melsen et al. advance ideas in the “Panta Rhei” decade (2013–2022) of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, which focuses on change in hydrology and society. While we reiterate that, despite acknowledged shortcomings, the enterprise of integrating societal feedbacks into hydrological models is beneficial in prediction and adaptive management, we also agree with the sentiments of the authors. In response, we offer concrete steps the socio-hydrologic community can take to educate modellers to become aware about unconscious biases embedded in model structure and clearly communicate assumptions. We stress the need for “knowledge brokers” that can help modellers work with stakeholders, instead of doing everything themselves. We also caution, however, against the danger of over-reaching. Young scholars already pay a big price by having to master both the natural and social sciences. As coupled human–water problems increase in societal importance, along with calls for more holistic thinking, we also need to promote an academic culture that rewards reaching across the aisle.

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