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On the call for issue advocates, or what it takes to make adaptation research useful

Bohman, Anna, Glaas, Erik, Klein, Johannes, Landauer, Mia, Neset, Tina-Simone, Linnér, Björn-Ola, Juhola, Sirkku
Climatic change 2018 v.149 no.2 pp. 121-129
climate change, politics, researchers, society, stakeholders, Scandinavia
This essay discusses the concept of usefulness of research for climate change adaptation. Based on prior research and stakeholder interactions with policymakers and practitioners in the Nordic countries, we contend that critical issues related to the usefulness of adaptation research seem less associated with content (i.e. research outputs), but rather centre around the efforts made to design and communicate research, that is, to put research at the service of society and make the case for adaptation on the political agenda. This, we argue, to some extent mirrors the situation and political context in the Nordic countries, where adaptation in many locations still is an issue in its infancy, not firmly established on the political agendas, and where working procedures are not yet institutionally settled. In this context, science is considered and sometimes used as a discursive tool to make the case for adaptation. Based on the calls for research that inspires, raises hope and helps to raise the issue of adaptation on the political agendas, we elaborate the role of honest issue advocates for researchers in the field of adaptation science.