As the saying goes, ‘It is not the fish that
need managing but the people that make up the fishery’. It’s a crucial point
that reflects both the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of marine science
and the focus of the ICES training course ‘Social scientists methods for
natural scientists.’Research projects are increasingly interdisciplinary enterprises, with stakeholder processes and engagement with SMEs considered a priority. In this changing professional context, gaining relevant research skills is becoming a necessity.
Increasingly, natural scientists work with others, in our case, fishers; collaborating, communicating, and participating together to increase the knowledge base and policy relevance of our work. A consequence of this is a need for more targeted training in social science research methods, such as interviewing, observing, and mapping.
This course will have a “learning by doing" set up. The facilitators provide guidance on the basics of the methods while participants develop their confidence in using them. Background information (such as the epistemology and ontology of the social sciences) and the underpinning social science theory will also be discussed for participants to learn more.
Through gaining new skills, participants will be better at working effectively with stakeholders in (cooperative) research projects, as well as having a better appreciation of the strengths of social sciences in fisheries research.
It is assumed that scientists have a natural science background, have or will have experience with working in cooperative research projects, working with stakeholders or are otherwise interested in learning more about social science methods in fisheries science. No previous knowledge of social sciences is required.