Science should provide solutions for societal transformations toward sustainability in the face of global environmental change. Land system science, as a systemic science focused on complex socio-ecological interactions around land use and associated trade-offs and synergies, is well placed to contribute to this agenda. This goal requires a stronger engagement with the normative implications of scientific practice, research topics, questions and results. We identify concerns as well as three concrete steps for land system science to more deeply contribute in normative issues. In particular, we encourage land system scientists to discuss explicitly the normative questions, values, perspectives and assumptions already present in our research, as well as to identify key normative research questions to contribute to societal transformations.