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Research projects

Scientific ambiguity and its consequences

About this project

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Karin Gustafsson

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This project focuses on the Monarch butterfly, which in North America is seen as a conservation icon. In last couple of years new studies of the monarch population have offered contradictory results to whether it has continued to declined or not. This interdisciplinary project seeks to (i) resolve these recently published contradictory findings on the long-term population trends of this species, (ii) identify and conceptually situate how scientists, NGOs, and other conservation actors respond to destabilization of knowledge claims inherent in such contradictory findings, and (iii) to identify and evaluate meanings associated with conservation icons such as the monarch and the ways those meanings interact with destabilized knowledge claims to shape public, organizational, and scientific responses. The project is funded by David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. Karin Gustafsson works as postdoc in this project at Cornell University.