The Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE) is a non-profit research institute with many years of experience, both nationally and internationally, in integrating environmental and sustainability research. ISOE’s particular strength lies in its combination of natural and social sciences. In addition, various societal actors are systematically involved in the research process at the Institute from the very beginning. The everyday and practical knowledge of these actors, and their way of viewing problems, is combined in a methodologically sound manner with a scientific mode of posing questions and producing knowledge. The goal of the Institute’s work is to develop concepts for solving society’s sustainability problems that are fit for the future.
At the LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiKF), ISOE is part of the team working in Project Area F: “Knowledge transfer and social-ecological aspects of climate-induced changes in biodiversity”. This area represents an important interface between science and society for the Centre, ensuring that research results both satisfy scientific quality standards and meet societal expectations. In this connection ISOE’s transdisciplinary approach plays a special role in mediating between the natural and social scientific modes of knowledge production, as well as between the research results thus obtained and the modes of problem perception and the possibilities of action on the part of societal actors. Here it is also a question of pointing out paths for future action which can lead to a better coping with climate-caused losses in biological diversity and their expected ecological, economic and social consequences.
The Centre’s interdisciplinary approach demands a high degree of internal communication, requiring that a commonly shared knowledge base be established among researchers from the various disciplines so that mutual understanding is possible. ISOE has developed, therefore, structures and forms of organization to enable an efficient transfer of knowledge within the Centre. The most important instruments in this respect are  the working group “Internal Cooperation,” which acts as an interface between Project Area F and the other Project Areas; Centre internal workshops; lecture series involving external lecturers; and Knowledge Flow Papers prepared especially for the Centre.
A discourse field analysis report prepared by ISOE for all the Centre’s project groups provides the latter with a means of evaluating the social relevance of individual projects and working theses, while at the same time helping the groups to identify relevant platforms and multiplicators. The discourse analysis serves as a review of the topic, ‘climate-caused changes in biodiversity,’ while at the same time identifying priorities and portraying critical actors and their positions, thus clarifying the role of contested knowledge in the dialoguer between society and science.
Finally, ISOE develops in cooperation with colleagues within the Centre on the basis of various eco-systems models, such as forest, inland waters (limnic systems), savannah and coral reefs, policy recommendations for dealing with the interlaced and conflicting ecological, economic and social consequences of climate-caused changes in biodiversity.
The results produced by the Centre’s various Projects Areas are integrated in the form of scenarios of the future development of changed fauna and flora and linked to an analysis of the future social-ecological and social-economic effects of such changed fauna and flora. In the forefront here stands the question of the effects on the use of given natural resources (ecosystems services) in connection with measures adopted to provide for their sustainable management.

Contact and further information:
Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE)
Dr. Thomas Jahn, Executive Board
Hamburger Allee 45
60486 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. 069/707 69 19-0
Fax 069/707 69 19-11