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Ruth Lightbody and Jennifer J. Roberts

Experts can play a number of roles in democratic innovations. However, there are challenges to consider regarding the value of expertise, the definition of expertise, what constitutes evidence and how experts should be involved in the process and outcome of democratic innovations. This Chapter explores some of these issues before outlining some of the key practical and normative issues around involving experts in democratic innovations.

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Jennifer L. Dunn, Jessie L. Knowlton, Robert M. Handler, Erin C. Pischke, Kathleen E. Halvorsen, M. Azahara Mesa-Jurado, Theresa L. Selfa, David J. Flaspohler, Julian Licata, Ena E. Mata-Zayas, Rodrigo Medeiros, Cassandra Moseley, Erik A. Nielsen, Valentin D. Picasso Risso, Julio C. Sacramento-Rivero, Tatiana de Souza, Cesar J. Vazquez Navarette and Nathan Basiliko

A transdisciplinary group of scientists and industrial, governmental and non-governmental organization partners collaborated to study the sustainability of bioenergy development across the Americas. The research focused on understanding the socioecological impacts of bioenergy in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay and the US. This chapter reports on how the group was formed through a smaller group that recognized the value of an interdisciplinary approach to studying environmental problems. We discuss the barriers and strategies the team faced when conducting transdisciplinary research and how environmental researchers and scientists can use this knowledge to anticipate challenges associated with transdisciplinary, international research. Lastly, we demonstrate the importance of recognizing environmental management issues as socioecological problems and show that studying them requires transdisciplinary teamwork.