Soil: Comparing perspectives from scientists and stakeholders

Some readers have let us know that at the end of August 2021, the European Journal of Soil Science published an interesting article with the title “Contributions and future priorities for soil science: Comparing perspectives from scientists and stakeholders“.

Intensifying demand and increasing soil degradation demand focused research into the sustainable use of soils. Soil scientists need to actively engage with industries, businesses and municipalities to orientate research goals towards stakeholder needs. Thus stakeholder views need to be taken into account when setting the future research agenda.

This summary is the result of a study, via a questionnaire distributed to 192 organisations, to assess whether the current and future soil research priorities match the needs of four major industrial and environmental sectors: agriculture, ecosystem services and natural resources, waste management, and water management. Respondents identified numerous areas that soil research has not yet sufficiently addressed, and stakeholders’ and scientists’ views of future research priorities differed strongly within sectors, with the notable exception of agriculture.

The main conclusion of the article is that there is a need for improved research communication and greater stakeholder involvement to shape the future soils research agenda and ensure the sustainable use of soils across multiple areas of society.