Social Science in the Natural Environment (SSINE): moving towards interdisciplinarity - integrating social and natural science in UK environmental organisations.
UK natural environment organisations (NEOs) are experiencing a social science 'turn' with a notable recent increase in the numbers of social scientists working in government, arm's length bodies, the third sector and private sector environmental consultancies, along with increased demand for social science expertise, including in new areas of work. However, limited research attention has been given to understanding how social sciences are being integrated into the operation and impact of NEOs. This pilot project aimed to understand current social science practice in these organisations and explore opportunities for the sector to embrace, integrate and develop its social science capability and ambition to deliver greater socio-environmental impact. The report showcases the findings of a literature review, exploratory interviews, surveys, a workshop discussion and an expert elicitation exercise looking at the backgrounds, current practices, experiences, and aspirations of social scientists in NEOs. The project is participatory, working with NEO partners to develop research on the integration and development of social science expertise within NEOs.