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Environmental sciences, sustainable development and circular economy: Alternative concepts for trans-disciplinary research

Sébastien Sauvé, Sophie Bernard and Pamela Sloan

Article (2016)

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The intermeshing of disciplines from the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering and management has become essential to addressing today's environmental challenges. Yet, this can be a daunting task because experts from different disciplines may conceptualize the problems in very different ways and use vocabularies that may not be well understood by one another. This paper explores three alternative environmental concepts used in transdisciplinary research, and outlines some of the epistemological and practical problems that each one poses. It pays particular attention to the increasingly popular concept of “circular economy”, and contrasts it with the more commonly-used concepts of “environmental sciences” and “sustainable development”. In clarifying the nature, meaning and inter-relationship of these alternative concepts, the paper helps trans-disciplinary researchers to understand the opportunities and challenges associated with each one.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Environmental protection, Sustainable development, Circular economy, Multi-/pluri-/inter-/trans-disciplinary research, Sustainability science

Subjects: 1500 Environmental engineering > 1500 Environmental engineering
Department: Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering
Research Center: EDDEC Institute
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/5124/
Journal Title: Environmental Development (vol. 17)
Publisher: Elsevier
DOI: 10.1016/j.envdev.2015.09.002
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envdev.2015.09.002
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2023 11:40
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2024 02:52
Cite in APA 7: Sauvé, S., Bernard, S., & Sloan, P. (2016). Environmental sciences, sustainable development and circular economy: Alternative concepts for trans-disciplinary research. Environmental Development, 17, 48-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envdev.2015.09.002


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