Among environmental researchers, the challenges of interdisciplinary engagement have become a hot topic. The participants in that discussion range from environmental economists to communications specialists to ecologists. Yet the literature says hardly anything about the potential role of law. Meanwhile, the legal world has been engaged in its own debates about interdisciplinary research. Many participants in those debates – including the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court – have questioned the usefulness of such collaboration.
In a forthcoming article in the journal Ecology Law Quarterly, Dave Owen, Professor in the University of Maine School of Law, and Caroline Noblet, Assistant Professor in UMaine’s School of Economics, argue that we should take a different view of environmental law’s role in interdisciplinary research. To environmental non-lawyers, the core pitch is simple: environmental law researchers could play an important role on your research team, particularly if you hope your research will lead to policy change. And to skeptical lawyers, the authors offer some reassurance that interdisciplinary engagement can help improve legal practice, teaching, and research. See more on this story