The Epistemology and Politics of Biodiversity Research

An Exploration in Political Philosophy of Science on the Example of the “Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”

Dr. des. Tobias Schönwitz (doctoral project, completed in June 2022)

In my dissertation, I study the intertwinement of science and society on the example of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Inspired by the developments at IPBES, I attempt to develop a political philosophy of science which is able to incorporate the occurrence of conflict as both an inevitable and potentially constructive element in science and society. The kind of political theory that I chose for dealing with the political dimension of my project reflects this view: Throughout the dissertation, I integrate epistemic considerations with so-called agonistic theories of democracy. Such theories provide ways for productively processing political conflict and a strong sensibility for the possible ways in which such productive forms of conflict in a society might be prevented.