Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sustainability solutions need the power of networks

Date:
February 21, 2011
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
The choices an individual makes about environmental issues are affected by family, friends and others in a person's social network. Scientists are studying how to harness the power of social networks to better communicate sustainability science.

The choices an individual makes about environmental issues are affected by family, friends and others in a person's social network. Michigan State University scientists are studying how to harness the power of social networks to better communicate sustainability science.

"Instead of trying to communicate with thousands of people, we can be more effective by using the structure of social networks to spread information," says Thomas Dietz, MSU assistant vice president for environmental research and a sociologist. "By communicating with the people who influence decisions in a network, we can have a dialogue with them and learn what is important to those groups. The influencers then spread the information to the rest of the network."

Dietz and Adam Henry, assistant professor of public administration at West Virginia University, have organized a symposium, "Social Networks and Sustainability," at this year's annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Symposium speakers are Henry; Ken Frank, MSU professor of measurement and quantitative methods, and fisheries and wildlife; and Mrill Ingram of the University of Wisconsin.

Frank develops mathematical models of social networks, which allows scientists to analyze the effects of social networks using universal, formal terms.

"My work makes explicit what we see in social network diagrams," Frank says. "For example, the diagrams can be used to represent how new knowledge diffuses through a network of stakeholders, and then the influence model can be used to estimate the size the network effect relative to other effects such as exposure to government reports and popular media."

"Ken's models are very helpful for communicating information," Dietz says. "His selection model tells us where people in a network get their information. So now we know who to contact to share information.

"Because we don't know how to deal with all the sustainability challenges we face, we have to learn as we go," he continues. "So we monitor what is and isn't effective and then get the new information out to the networks. There are many practical applications for this research."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Sustainability solutions need the power of networks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110221101317.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2011, February 21). Sustainability solutions need the power of networks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110221101317.htm
Michigan State University. "Sustainability solutions need the power of networks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110221101317.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins