Embracing tension for energy and creativity in interdisciplinary research

By Liz Clarke and Rebecca Freeth Tensions inevitably arise in inter- and transdisciplinary research. Dealing with these tensions and resulting conflicts is one of the hardest things to do. We are meant to avoid or get rid of conflict and tension, right? Wrong! Tension and conflict are not only inevitable; they can be a source …

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Doing a transdisciplinary PhD? Four tips to convince the examiners about your data

By Jane Palmer, Dena Fam, Tanzi Smith and Jenny Kent How can research writing best be crafted to present transdisciplinarity? How can doctoral candidates effectively communicate to examiners a clear understanding of ‘data’, what it is and how the thesis uses it convincingly? The authors have all recently completed transdisciplinary doctorates in the field of …

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Three tasks for transdisciplinary bridge builders

By Roderick J. Lawrence Human groups and societies have built many kinds of bridges for centuries. Since the 19th century, engineers have designed complex physical structures that were intended to serve one or more purposes in precise situations. In essence, the construction of a bridge is meant to join two places together. What may appear …

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Designing for impact in transdisciplinary research

By Cynthia Mitchell, Dena Fam and Dana Cordell Starting with richly articulated pictures of where we would like to be at some defined point in the future has powerful consequences for any human endeavour. How can we use such “Outcome Spaces” to guide the conception, design, implementation, and evaluation of transdisciplinary research? Our Outcome Spaces …

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Material resources for transdisciplinary research

By Chris Riedy What materials are needed to support the conduct of transdisciplinary research? Transdisciplinary research is a bundle of interwoven social practices taking different forms in different contexts. As highlighted in one prominent version of social practice theory (Shove et al., 2012: 14), social practice has three elements: Materials – ‘including things, technologies, tangible …

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Storytelling ethnography as a way of doing transdisciplinary research

By Jane Palmer Storytelling ethnography is a valuable tool if your research traverses several disciplines and aims for insights that transcend all of them. Stories not only integrate knowledge from diverse disciplines, but can also “change the way people act, the way they use available knowledge” (Griffiths 2007). The special qualities of transdisciplinarity are: its …

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