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Title: Emerald and andesite : volcanology in the policy interface on Montserrat
Author: Donovan, A. R.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis takes a multi-method approach to analyse critically the role of scientific advice in policy making on the island of Montserrat in the West Indies. It employs participant observation, interviews and documentary analysis, along with a global survey of volcanologists, to assess the process from scientific observation to evacuation. Chapter 1 provides the rationale for the thesis, and discusses the methods, and the history of Montserrat. Chapter 2 discusses the recent history of volcanology, and its research directions, arguing that this is closely related to recent eruptions and that there are multiple knowledges involved in the progression of the science. Chapters 3 to 5 examine both quantitative and qualitative data. A survey carried out in 2008-2009 is combined with examples from Montserrat to draw some conclusions about the social context of volcanology. Chapter 3 examines epistemological issues, arguing that volcanology combines research-based methods with socially driven questions in the pursuit of volcanic hazard assessment – there are mixed epistemologies involved. Chapter 4 looks at recent developments in volcano monitoring and also at the types of knowledge and interaction that are involved in managing eruptions. Chapter 5 then examines the culture of volcanology as it is played out in observations and universities. Chapters 6 to 9 focus more closely on the eruption on Montserrat. Chapter 6 describes the syn-eruption evolution of the volcanological institutions on Montserrat, arguing that this process was significantly impeded by lack of prior structures. Chapter 7 examines the geographical nature of risk on Montserrat – human and physical. Chapter 8 argues that a degree of reflexivity was present in the development of scientific advice on Montserrat, and has an important role beyond this eruption. Chapter 9 examines the social context of expert elicitation in detail.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available