"In Order to Aid in Diffusing Useful and Practical Information": Agricultural Extension and Boundary Organizations
|Title||"In Order to Aid in Diffusing Useful and Practical Information": Agricultural Extension and Boundary Organizations|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2001|
|Journal||Science Technology Human Values|
|Date Published||October 1, 2001|
Agricultural decision making is characterized by two challenges common to multiple arenas: linking science to decision making and linking science and decision making across multiple levels. The U.S. agricultural research, education, and extension system was designed to address these challenges. By investigating this system, this study deepens the understanding of science and decision making, specifically exploring the notion of boundary organizations in two significant ways. First, it provides a preliminary test of the hypothesis that boundary organizations mediate between the shifting domains of science and policy, finding that they are instrumental in creating and maintaining an integrated system of assessment and decision making for addressing depletion of the High Plains Aquifer. Second, it extends the concept of boundary organization beyond the science-policy dimension to incorporate the dimension of levels of organization--not only bridging science and policy but linking science and policy across different levels (e.g., the local, state, and national levels).