Social science methods for natural scientists

From 31 Jan to 2 Feb the ICES training on social science for natural scientists will be held in The Hague. We thought this may be of interest to gear technologists, many of whom work with/interview fishers and increasingly with social scientists and/or find themselves involved in societal discussions about gear/net innovation with multiple stakeholders.

31 January – 2 February 2024
Den Haag, the Netherlands

​​​​​Research projects are increasingly interdisciplinary enterprises often with a strong emphasis on stakeholder participation and engagement. As a result natural scientists are being called upon to engage with a broader set of scientific and societal stakeholders and operate in new and challenging environments. In this changing professional context, gaining appropriate research skills is becoming a necessity. What this means in practice is finding new ways to collaborate, communicate, and engage with stakeholders (in our case fishers), managers and policy makers to broaden the knowledge base and increase the policy relevance of our work. As a result there is a need for targeted training in social science research methods for natural scientists.By way of professional introduction to the topic, this course will provide ‘hands on’ guidance on the basics required to navigate this challenging landscape. Employing a participant-led ‘learning by doing’ approach the facilitators will guide the participants step by step through the basics of social science methods such as interviewing, participant observation, mapping etc., in a supportive and interactive process designed to develop confidence and capacities.Background to the topic such as how social scientists understand and study the world, and the underpinning social science theory will also be discussed where appropriate. The course is designed to be challenging, flexible and fun ,and includes fieldwork in a fishing port.​


Through gaining new skills, participants will be better able to work effectively with stakeholders in (cooperative) research projects, as well as having a better appreciation of the strengths and application of the social sciences in fisheries research.


It is assumed that scientists have a natural science background, have or will have experience with working in cooperative research projects, working with stakeholders or are otherwise interested in learning more about social science methods in fisheries science. No knowledge of social science is required.

Course​ instructors

Marloes Kraan, Wageningen Economic Research, the Netherlands​

Nathalie Steins, Wageningen Marine Research, the Netherlands​


450 Euros (for ICES member country affiliated participants​)
750 Euros (for non-member country affiliated participants)

Information on the training and how to register

Reflections by natural scientists who attended the previous training—ICES-course-to-tutor-natural-scientists-in-social-science-skills.aspx

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *