Theme 2

The intersection of science and practice: farming system perspectives


Julie Ingram (

Patrizia Proietti (

Simona Cristiano (

Andrea Knierim (

Agricultural sciences have to operate at the interface between technological, economic, political, natural, social and different knowledge systems. At the farm scale, science also has to intersect with the complex decision making environment, which presents certain challenges, risk and responsibilities.

Agricultural science can provide benefits of systematic observation, measurement and experiments, rigorous replicable methods, large data sets and analysis, however, how to make the outputs relevant to different production and management/decision contexts is a persistent question. Criticisms of uncertainty, lack of transparency are particularly pertinent to science supporting climate change adaptation.

Given the increasing reliance placed on science advancements, the need to understand how science intersects with practice is becoming more pressing; whether with respect to sophisticated modelling and big data, the promotion of concepts such as smart farming, sustainable intensification and ecological modernisation, or supporting farmers’ adaptation to climate variability and resource challenges.

Objectives and orientations for abstracts

This theme aims to explore how science intersects with practice, drawing on farming systems perspectives. Abstracts are invited to address (but are not limited to) the following questions:


  • To what extent are advancements in science being incorporated and utilised in local decision-making? How can co-production processes effectively incorporate quantitative data analysis and modeling outputs?
  • What evidence is there that co-production processes effectively incorporate scientific outputs? What methodologies can be used to gather such evidence?
  • Who are the key actors and what competencies do they need to bring about integration of scientific and stakeholder knowledge? What are their responsibilities (scientists and stakeholders) with respect to ensuring the optimal use of scientific outputs and providing credibility to co production approaches?
  • How can scientists be more transparent about their methodologies and assumptions about the interpretability of results? To what extent are uuncertainties and knowledge gaps acknowledged by scientists in co-production processes?
  • Which approaches effectively facilitate use of scientific advancements, build capacity and boost pathways to research impact?
  • Which policy approaches and incentives, interactions between researchers and policy makers can enable effective pathways to research impact?