By Gabriele Bammer
What are the indicators that transdisciplinarity has been institutionalised? How close is it? What still needs to be done to achieve institutionalisation?
Transdisciplinary teaching and research are becoming more common in universities and a range of research organisations. So how will we know that transdisciplinarity is an integral and accepted part of the research and higher education scene, nationally and internationally?
I suggest that there are two primary criteria:
- The expertise required to undertake transdisciplinary research is recognized and codified
- Acknowledged transdisciplinary experts are given an equal voice with established disciplines when research and higher education policy are made and when funding is allocated.
By Chris Cvitanovic and Rebecca Shellock
How important is trust at the science-policy interface? How can you build trust when working with decision-makers? And how can trust be repaired after a break-down?
How important is trust when working at the science-policy interface?
Trust is important at 3 levels:
- Trust in individuals (eg., an individual researcher and an individual policy-maker), which is important for providing space for open dialogue;
- Trust in the research organisation, which focuses on organisational legitimacy and credibility, and acting in a way that is free of bias;
- Trust in the process by which knowledge is generated and exchanged.
By Moein Khazaei, Mohammad Ramezani, Amin Padash and Dorien DeTombe
How can services that are provided to citizens be overhauled so that they will survive, be competitive and be fair (eg., accessible to all)? Is there a systematic way in which shared value can be created? By shared value we mean combining social and environmental interests with corporate interests.
We have developed a methodology that we call “System redesign toward creating shared value” or SYRCS. It comprises 4 stages, shown in the figure below. They are:
- emancipation and critical thinking
- problem structuring
- multi-criteria and quantitative decision-making
- creating shared value.
By Sergio Mariotti
How can we forge a new alliance between the natural and human sciences in order to deal with complex problems? Can economics and engineering show the way? Where does transdisciplinarity fit?
Ilya Prigogine based his 1990s theory of complexity on the need for a “new alliance” between the natural and human sciences in order to restore a unified knowledge based on plurality, diversity and multiple perspectives.
I explore what this would mean if we focus on two disciplines – economics and engineering – in the context of one complex problem: a future society increasingly influenced by the cluster of organizational and market innovations induced by Artificial Intelligence technologies.
Economists and engineers have played a vital role in the evolution of our modern society. The related disciplines have intertwined with each other, leading to mutual cross-fertilization.
By David Ludwig, Vitor Renck & Charbel N. El-Hani
How can local knowledge be effectively and fairly incorporated in transdisciplinary projects? How can such projects avoid “knowledge mining” and “knowledge appropriation” that recognize marginalized knowledge only where it is convenient for dominant actors and their goals? In addition, how can knowledge integration programs avoid being naive or even harmful by forcing Indigenous people into regimes of knowledge production that continue to be dominated by the perspectives of external researchers?
Highlighted posts on education
By Dena Fam, Abby Mellick Lopes, Alexandra Crosby and Katie Ross
How can transdisciplinary educators help students reflexively understand their position in the field of research? Often this means giving students the opportunity to go beyond being observers of social reality to experience themselves as potential agents of change.
To enable this opportunity, we developed a model for a ‘Transdisciplinary Living Lab’ (Fam et al., forthcoming).
By Genevieve Creighton and Gayle Scarrow
Knowledge translation encompasses all of the activities that aim to close the gap between research and implementation.
What knowledge, skills and attitudes (ie., competencies) are required to do knowledge translation? What do researchers need to know? How about those who are using evidence in their practice?
As the knowledge translation team at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, we conducted a scoping review of the skills, knowledge and attitudes required for effective knowledge translation (Mallidou et al., 2018). We also gathered tools and resources to support knowledge translation learning.
By Randall J. Hunt
How to give others your hard-won insights so that their work can be more informed, efficient, and effective? As I’ve gotten older, it is something that I think about more.
It is widely recognized that the environment is an integrated but also “open” system. As a result, when working with issues relating to the environment we are faced with the unsatisfying fact that we won’t know “truth”. We develop an understanding that is consistent with what we currently know and what we consider state-of-the-practice methods. But, we can never be sure that more observations or different methods would not result in different insights.
By Stephen M. Fiore
Many environmental, social, and public health problems require collaborative problem solving because they are too complex for an individual to work through alone. This requires a research and technical workforce that is better prepared for collaborative problem solving. How can this be supported by educational programs from kindergarten through college? How can we ensure that the next generation of researchers and engineers are able to effectively engage in team science?