Carr, A. and R. Wilkinson


Carr, A. and R. Wilkinson, 2005. Beyond participation: boundary organizations as a new space for farmers and scientists to interact. Society and Natural Resources, 18(3): 255-265.


For many years agricultural science assumed that research was done by scientists, repackaged by extension officers, and launched at farmers. Both their knowledge systems and cultural roles were seen as different. Nowadays their roles are converging and their boundaries are eroding. There are fewer differences in how each group produces and uses knowledge, given its cultural specificity and context dependence. We suggest that groups that use participatory natural resource management techniques to combine farmers, scientists, and others at the boundary between science and farming exemplify this convergence of knowledge and roles. Two examples of boundary organisations are provided: producer-initiated research and development groups, and integrated catchment management committees. These may constitute a powerful force for improving the management of natural resources on farms.