Developing the Practice of Post Normal Science

What are the guiding principles for studying complex systems?

In collaboration with the so-called Dirk Gently gang; G. Francis, H. Regier, S. Funtowicz, J. Ravetz, G. Gallopin, M. Giampietro, D. Waltner-Toews, M. O'Connor and T.F.H. Allen, we are developing a set of guiding questions for the study of complex systems and a methodology for doing this. In particular this focuses on the issues of uncertainty and surprise in nested self-organizing systems. The problematique is of decision making in the face of complexity and high risk, of charting a sustainable course in uncertain waters


We presented our current thinking about PNS at the Bi-Annual Meeting of the International Society for Ecological Economics in Boston, 4-7 August, 1996.

Our session at the conference was entitled :

Ecosystem Approach in economics, health and environmental management: a post-normal science. (Longish abstracts can be found through this link)


International Workshop on Complex systems: Policies and Decision-Making Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, 27-29 May, 1996
(The Dirk Gently gang annual meeting)


Developing the practice of post-normal science.

Through a number of case studies we are developing the ecosystem approach as an example of a post-normal science.

The Huron Natural Area WWW site


For further reading see:


Visit the Principia Cybernetica Project, a wealth of material on Systems Thinking
and don't miss the Home of Post Normal Science (Silvio Funtowicz)



Back to JK Home page Last updated 25 August, 1996