Perspective | Published:

Science and the experience of nature

Nature Sustainabilityvolume 1pages540543 (2018) | Download Citation


How should human societies act to enhance ecological integrity and improve human well-being in tandem, now and in the future? In this Perspective, we suggest that this question is not simply a matter of defining the appropriate science and policy, or in achieving improvements in the quality of science communication. Instead, science and policy must draw from deeper waters. We discuss a deeper transdisciplinary approach that gives attention to the meanings that societal groups find in their environments, as well as the ways in which these meanings are embedded in landscapes and other aspects of material culture and inform the individual and collective sense of self. A humanistic environmental science, in short, examines human experience of a dynamic, yet changeable nature.

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Narifumi Tachimoto is Professor Emeritus and was Director General (2007–2013) at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature and was President of the National Institutes for the Humanities (2014–2018).

Author information


  1. Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan

    • Daniel Niles
    •  & Narifumi Tachimoto
  2. National Institutes for the Humanities, Tokyo, Japan

    • Narifumi Tachimoto


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N.T. and D.N. contributed equally to the conceptualization of this Perspective and D.N. wrote the bulk of the text.

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Correspondence to Daniel Niles.

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