Science as Actionable Knowledge

About the Project 


word cloud based on the NASA projects
From analyzing landslide hazards to mapping tropical wetlands and flooding, the research teams of the Actionable Knowledge cohort are working to turn their findings into actionable solutions. This word cloud was created based on the project descriptions.

To address complex planetary challenges, such as climate change and sustainability, researchers, funders, and practitioners have come collectively to appreciate that the mere accumulation of knowledge and information is not enough (Fazey 2013). To advance the use of knowledge and evidence to inform decisions requires intentionality in research design, early identification of beneficiaries of that knowledge, plans for knowledge exchange, and pathways to impact. Against this backdrop, a new ‘science of actionable knowledge’ is emerging, an area of inquiry that aims to understand and catalyze transitions in scientific knowledge-making and use (Arnott 2020). 

In 2022, in partnership with NASA, GCSE led a pilot program to support a cohort of researchers as they pursued applications-oriented work, to enhance user uptake and use in decision-making. GCSE helped researchers enhance the relevance of their work to stakeholders, and built community across the cohort of PIs participating in the augmentation process to share knowledge and experiences, develop new skills, and build capacity for sustained collaboration and engagement.


GCSE is currently developing a series of engaging educational videos on how researchers can produce actionable knowledge. Christine Kirchhoff, Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Penn State University, will lead the audience through an in-depth exploration of how to create actionable knowledge, the skills and attitudes needed for actionable knowledge, and tips for how to make research more diverse, inclusive, and culturally relevant. This series will be released in 2023.

Cohort Projects:


Actionable Knowledge Program Contact Information

Global Council for Science and the Environment

1776 Eye Street NW

Washington, D.C. 20006