Why set up a blog site before you want to use it? First we need to find each other…

Community member post by Gabriele Bammer

gabriele-bammer
Gabriele Bammer (biography)

The aim of this site is to host a global conversation about… well one of the challenges is that we don’t yet have an agreed name for our topic.

This is a conversation for you if your research does some of the following:

  • Gets people from different disciplines working together
  • Builds models of complex social and environmental problems
  • Helps policy makers use research evidence
  • Figures out ways to manage value conflicts
  • Finds ways to identify unknown unknowns
  • Maps interconnections between problem elements
  • Works with business to build better products
  • Involves community groups in defining the problem
  • Worries about adverse unintended consequences
  • Realises that context matters.

I think about these practices as integration and implementation sciences. You might call them systems thinking, action research, interdisciplinarity or transdisciplinarity, implementation science, post-normal science, mode 2 research, project management, complex systems science or a host of other terms.

Before we can have a conversation we need to find each other. I estimate that there are tens of thousands of us, but there’s no one organization that we all belong to or one place where we all gather. It’s easy enough to find clusters of a few hundred, but connecting across those smallish groupings is more difficult.

Why is it important to connect? My argument is that there are a lot of overlaps between our research practices, but we don’t recognize them. As a consequence we tend to reinvent each other’s contributions rather than building on them. That’s not only inefficient, but it also means that we’re not as good as we could be in the research that we do.

Once we’ve found each other – what next? You need to take the next step, but I promise I’ll respond. You could:

I look forward to hearing from you and even more to organizing for us all to work together when this blog gets active in September 2015.

PS September has come and gone, October too, and we’re not yet active. It has taken longer to get organised than we envisaged. We’re now aiming to start posting regular blogs in late November and look forward to receiving your posts and comments then.

Biography: Gabriele Bammer PhD is a professor at The Australian National University in the Research School of Population Health’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health. She is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (I2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems through synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge, understanding and managing diverse unknowns and providing integrated research support for policy and practice change. She leads the theme “Building Resources for Complex, Action-Oriented Team Science” at the US National Socio-environmental Synthesis Center.

One thought on “Why set up a blog site before you want to use it? First we need to find each other…

  1. September has come and gone, October too, and we’re not yet active. It has taken longer to get organised than we envisaged and we’re now aiming for a late November start date for regular posting. Look forward to receiving your posts and comments then.

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