The second meeting
In the second meeting it is time to engage with existing knowledge about the local problem and proposed solutions to identify errors, weaknesses and gaps.
Questioning established knowledge
It is important that ECGs spend time on critically interrogating the claims made about the problem by different people. In many cases established science-based experts have firm views on how things work and what is possible in terms of management options. The ECG in Pickering questioned the meaning of widely used terminology, among other things, as this transcript shows.
How do computer models work?
In order to examine scientific knowledge it is important to understand how it has been created. Environmental scientists use computer models extensively so to start with it is useful if the group members with experience of modelling can explain to the others who might not know how computer models work.
The second meeting is a good time to clarify ideas and questions that the group wants to work with more in depth. There will be far more questions and ideas than there is time and ability to explore so it is necessary to prioritise. A good way to do this is to start with open-ended brainstorming and then take the time to discuss each suggestion in relation to time and capacity constraints and its urgency. Here is a transcript of the closing part of the discussion of possible options for reducing flooding in Pickering.
Preparing for the next meeting
The second meeting provides the environmental modellers in the group with enough information to start looking at modelling approaches that might be useful for the group and prepare to introduce them in meeting three.
There is often a need to provide additional information to the timeline and check some of the information brought to light when examining existing knowledge.