PubCast – Seeing Beneath Disputes – Biological Conservation 2020

By Hannah Harrison

This latest entry in our series of Pubcasts, audio-book style recordings of peer reviewed scientific research, is an article about diagnosing complex conservation conflicts.

Conservation conflicts are pressing social and environmental sustainability issues, and the complex underlying causes and escalating factors of such conflicts can often be difficult to understand. This article synthesizes a breadth of conservation conflict literature to lay out a transdisciplinary framework for diagnosing complex conservation conflicts composed of six key aspects: complexity, emergence, and stages; conflict status; basis of contention and cognitive framing; state of knowledge; state of values; and interventions. This framework is based in systems thinking and encourages users to harness thinking based in storytelling and consider how a conservation conflict represents a larger ongoing narrative with depth, meaning, and containing complex, interrelated storylines.

Pubcasts are hosted by the Conservation of Change Lab ( as a part of Coastal Routes Radio, and are an ongoing project to experiment with science communication and making research more accessible and digestible to both scientific and general audiences. We were inspired to start Pubcasts via our own love of podcasts, demystifying science and the role of researchers in science, and the power of the human voice.

We hope you enjoy and welcome feedback via Twitter at You can find more Pubcasts from the Coastal Routes project at

You can read the full paper, open-access and without paywalls, at the Biological Conservation website: