There are numerous protected areas (PAs) within the Alpine Arc. PA practitioners strongly rely on science to gain legitimacy and address complex issues. To this end they establish scientific councils (SCs), a scientific department, or both.
Drawing on Alpine and French surveys and an international workshop organized in Chambéry (France) in June 2015, this article gives an overview of SCs in Alpine PAs. It shows that especially France and Switzerland have a high number of SCs and that SCs are highly diverse in their composition, organization, activities and formation. It discusses the capacity of SCs to bring useful (i. e. credible, legitimate and salient) science to PAs and compares them with other ways of linking scientists and PA practitioners. More understanding is needed of how PAs combine different institutional frameworks to engage in boundary science to better grasp the functioning and specific assets and limitations of SCs.
Source: Arpin I et al. 2016. The scientific councils of Alpine protected areas: an overview and analysis of their contribution to linking science and management. eco.mont - Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research, 8/2: 5-12.