Field Guides to Food

Social and Natural Sciences in Agriculture

Curated By: Tahsha LePage

Many agricultural programs are implemented through a top-down approach on the basis of hard/natural science. How can we approach agriculture from a social science perspective? Social factors play an important role in the food system. Implementing new programs on the basis of natural science should also integrate social sciences in order to better serve the community it wishes to improve.  Local knowledge and customs are especially important factors to consider.

Professor Bernhard Freyer (BOKU) introduces the concept of social science having a role along with natural science in agriculture. The science roadmap is a document presenting ideas on improving the agricultural system. Three trailers follow this information collected from Peter Shea's interviews with local farmers.


Food for Thought:


Considering Bernhard Freyer’s message about social science in agriculture, does the Science Roadmap reflect this idea? In what ways? How could it be improved?

Choose a farmer from one of the video trailers. If you had to approach this farmer with an idea backed by natural science, how would you go about doing so? Think about the social aspects you would consider.

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