Alice B.M. Vadrot

Dr. at the CSaP Centre for Science and Policy - University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

University of Cambridge, Centre for Science and Policy
10 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA
+44 (0) 1223 339642


Alice B. M. Vadrot is currently Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge. Before that, she had a four-year research post at the ICCR Foundation, a research institute based in Vienna, to thereafter move to NEOS Lab, an Austrian political think tank, for which she served as Head of Research. Alice earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of Vienna in 2013. In 2014 she published the book “The Politics of Knowledge and Global Biodiversity” (Routledge, Taylor & Francis). Alice is associate editor of the journal Innovation-The European Journal of Social Sciences and she is Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Her current research project focuses on the epistemic and political dimensions of emerging institutional arrangements at the interface between conservation science and biodiversity policy.


Protecting biodiversity on the planet: the sociology of the IPBES

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established in April 2012 as an independent intergovernmental science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services open to all member states of the United Nations. IPBES combines four main functions: firstly, to catalyse the generation of new knowledge; secondly, to produce assessments of existing knowledge; thirdly, to support policy formulation and implementation; and fourthly to build capacities relevant to achieving its goal. These functions are the four pillars ensuring that the objective to ‘proactively develop assessments matched to policy needs, and to support capacity building across scales and topics’ is met (Diaz et al. 2015: 1). The conceptual framework of the IPBES acknowledges that the inclusion of a diversity of knowledge holders and knowledge forms is a precondition for the production of usable and policy-relevant knowledge to protect biodiversity. In this respect, the IPBES can play an important role within the dynamics of international biodiversity politics and policies in general and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in particular, but that it also expresses the challenge for the scientific communities to represent and communicate the impact of biodiversity loss and the necessity to protect biodiversity effectively. By pointing to the specificities of the conceptual framework of the IPBES and relating them to the conflictual character of the IPBES establishment, this contribution aims to develop a sociology of this new science-policy interfacing body.

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