Hummel's observations on the limits of science to inform practice provides a useful starting point for a book chapter devoted to examining post-normal environmental policy where the "facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high, and decisions urgent" (Funtowicz and Ravetz 1993, 739, 744). Central to the argument here is that the integration of science with practice requires greater attention to the science of practice, and not just the practice of science. In particular, a geographic or place-focused approach can help explain why the science-practice gap persists and why efforts to close the gap often fail (Williams 2013). A place-focused approach helps us appreciate the inevitably incomplete and uncertain character of knowledge when applied to land management practice and highlights the way emplaced, networked practitioners can build a shared understanding of the situation. That is, rather than trying to solve wicked land management problems with an integrated top-down, or "normal" science-based view of knowledge, effective action can be conceived as the outcome of a social learning process that operates within a networked set of actors and institutions governing complex systems. In short, social learning can produce a collaborative form of rationality that operates both horizontally (place-to-place) and vertically (upward and downward in scale) to achieve a more sustainable form of landscape governance.
Williams, Daniel R. 2017. The role of place-based social learning [Chapter 7]. In: Weber, E. P.; Lach, D.; Steel, B., eds. New strategies for wicked problems: Science and solutions in the 21st century. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press. p. 149-168.