How science-society interactions design post-mining territories: transdisciplinary patterns in Cevennes, France
The impact of citizen science on environmental attitudes, behaviour and knowledge
Published under CEST2023
Proceedings ISSN: 2944-9820
Abstract In line with the European Union's guidelines, the context of a mining resurgence in metropolitan France plans the prospective opening or reopening of mines. In this general context, the politicization of the post-mining subsurface is sparked by this mining industry rebirth, linked to reminiscences of its mismanagements. Politically and socially, research advances on post-mining issues become strategic knowledge to legitimise such a position. We hypothesise that the knowledge produced in the research has a longer reach (a more robust social impact) when it is co-constructed with the inhabitants, thus leaving the confined field of science to fertilise concrete action on the territory. Based on three case studies in the Cévennes informed by a review of scientific literature and the media, semi-structured interviews with scientists and local inhabitants, and informal interactions, this paper argues that even though they were not designed as participatory, the research processes investigated have become so, via spontaneous interactions with local inhabitants. We analyse the circulation of knowledge during the research processes and its impacts on the learning of researchers and inhabitants involved and on the territory. A reflection concerning a typology of forms of transdisciplinarity ongoing, and their influence is outlined.
citizen science, transdisciplinarity, knowledge, post-mining territory