Advanced search

Results from your search will be shown on this page below the search form – you may need to scroll down to the results if the page does not automatically take you there after you submit your search.

  • Select main topics and/or resource types (categories):

  • Select tags:

  • Select authors (author-tags):

  • Reset to clear all the above fields:

Instructions:

  • All blog posts are searched (pages from the menu are not searched)
  • Search outputs are weighted by relevance.
  • If searching with two or more words, the system uses an AND operator.
  • Selecting a tag, author tag and/or category binds the search to only those posts which have those taxonomy term/s.
  • A search output can be obtained by filling out any one field (ie., the search box; or, categories; or, tags; or, authors; or, date). If all fields are left blank, then the search returns the blog scroll.
  • Exact word combinations can be searched for by using quotation marks (eg., “transdisciplinary learning”).
  • Keyword matching is on partial words.
  • The reset button (beneath the ‘Submit search’ button) will clear all entries in the search form, as will clicking on the ‘Advanced search…’ link in the top of the right sidebar.
  • For more information on how advanced search works, see the ‘in-detail’ instructions below.

The search function checks all blog posts but not pages (ie., it does not check the  ‘About’, ‘Index’ and other pages listed in the main menu).

For posts, search checks within titles, body text, category and tag text, and comments.

Searches are weighted by relevance, with affects the order in which posts appear, with titles and content getting the most weighting, tags and categories lesser weighting, and comments the least weighting.

Increasing the number of search terms and selections generally focuses the search output (ie., decreases the number of outputs).

Keyword matching is based on partial word/s, ie., the search will find any word containing the term you are searching on, provided the word begins or ends with the search term (eg., searching for ‘ion’ will not only find the word ‘ion’ but will also find ‘caution’ or ‘ionized’, but not “cautionary’).

If you enter two or more words into the search box, the relationship between the words is based on an AND operator (meaning the more words you add, the tighter (less content is returned in) the search output).

  • For example, entering transdisciplinary learning into the search box would provide an output that lists all posts with both the word transdisciplinary and the word learning anywhere in the text, Posts with only transdisciplinary in the text or posts with only learning in the text would not be included in the output.

To find a specific word combination (eg., critical systems), wrap in quotation marks (ie., “critical systems“).

When you open a post that was found by your search, you can find where your specific word or word combination appears by using your computer’s search function (eg., on a computer running Microsoft Windows, Control ‘F’ will allow you to search the post (as well as anything else in the active screen)).

Restrict searches to particular tags, categories and/or author tags by using the dropdown selectors.

  • Eg., if you choose the tag Advocacy, the search will only be conducted within posts that have that tag assigned to them.
  • If you added the category Cases to that search, then only posts that had both the tag Advocacy and the category Cases assigned to them would be searched.

An alternative to selecting categories, tags or authors from their respective long drop-down list is to type the term or author name you are looking for in the relevant selector field. Typing one letter will jump to the lead word in the alphabetical listing (ie, typing ‘s’ takes you to the first tag or category in the list of those starting with ‘s’). Further addition of letters will home in on a tag, category or author until it is found or until the choice of letters exhausts the possible set of tags, categories or authors (in which case that tag, category or author is not in our list). NOTE: all authors are also available in reverse name order under ‘Authors‘ in the menu bar.

In the category, tag and author dropdown list, the number in brackets after each entry indicates the number of posts with that category, tag or author assigned to them.

Tags or authors with a zero in brackets “(0)”, placed after the tag or author text, are not currently linked to any blog posts. In the case of tags, most of these tags identify alternative tags, which, if searched, will yield a result. For example, “Assumptions – see ‘Mental models’ tag (0)” signifies that blog posts about ‘assumptions’ are tagged with ‘mental models’ and not ‘assumptions.’ Occasionally there will be a tag (or author tag) with “(0)” which refers to a new tag (or author tag) on a blog post which has not yet been made public. This tag (or author tag) will be searchable once the blog post is public (usually within a week).

For the category selector, choosing one of the two parent categories (main topics or resource types) searches all blog posts, as all blog posts are assigned a main topic and a resource type.

Search results

Five lessons to improve how models serve society

By Andrea Saltelli

andrea-saltelli
Andrea Saltelli (biography)

Models are mathematical constructs better understood by their developers than by users. So should the public trust models? What insights can help society demand the quality it needs from modeling?

Mathematical modelling is a multiverse, where each scientific discipline adopts its own styles of modeling and quality control. Very little in the way of ‘user instructions’ is available to those affected by modeling practices.

This blog post presents five lessons to improve modelling that were developed as a manifesto by a cross-disciplinary group of natural and social scientists (Saltelli et al., 2020).

Lesson 1: Mind the assumptions

Read more

Understanding diversity primer: 2. Mental models

By Gabriele Bammer

primer_diversity_2

What are mental models and why are they important? How do they affect how problems are framed, understood and responded to? How do they affect how well those contributing to the research work together?

Mental models are a person’s understanding of the world and how it works, and are unique to each person. They exist in a person’s mind as a set of small-scale simplified models about different aspects of reality that are functional but necessarily incomplete.

Mental models apply to all aspects of reality ranging from concrete objects such as a ‘chair;’ to abstract concepts such as ‘trust;’ to geographical locations such as ‘Sydney;’ to connections, interconnections and causal relationships; and to simple and complex situations.

Read more

Three lessons for policy engagement

By Emily Hayter

emily-hayter
Emily Hayter (biography)

How can researchers be supported in communicating their research and in supporting policymakers to use research and evidence? Are there particular issues for researchers in the global south?

The three lessons presented here are based on the experience of INASP (International Network for Advancing Science and Policy), an international development organisation which has been working with a global network of partners in Africa, Latin America and Asia for nearly 30 years.

1. Policy engagement needs to build mutual understanding between researchers and policymakers as actors in a system (the ‘how’)

The research/policy space is not quite the chasm it is often presented as, needing a ‘bridge’ to cross between two distinct groups.

Read more

Understanding diversity primer: 1. Why diversity?

By Gabriele Bammer

primer_diversity_1_updated_220412

Why do researchers who tackle complex societal and environmental problems need to understand diversity? What kinds of diversity are relevant? What are some good starting points?

Diversity is critical for:

  • developing a more comprehensive understanding of any complex problem, both what is known and what is not known
  • providing a greater range of ideas about addressing the problem, including what may and may not work
  • providing deeper and more effective insights into how the research can support policy and/or practice action to address the problem by government, business and civil society.

Read more

Intentional ecology: Building values, advocacy and action into transdisciplinary environmental research

By Alexandra Knight and Catherine Allan

authors_alexandra-knight_catherine-allan
1. Alexandra Knight (biography)
2. Catherine Allan (biography)

As a society, how do we encourage early and ethical action when building our knowledge and confronting serious challenges?

In this blog post we explore the conceptual framework of intentional ecology and apply it to a case study to illustrate how it deals with the question raised above.

Intentional ecology – foundations and actions

Intentional ecology, illustrated in the figure below, is a new conceptual framework that enables early, applied and relevant integrated action, as well as reflexive and dynamic approaches to implementation of conservation and sustainability measures. It’s a better way of doing science.

Read more

Four building blocks of systems thinking

By Derek Cabrera and Laura Cabrera

authors_derek-cabrera_laura-cabrera
1. Derek Cabrera (biography)
2. Laura Cabrera (biography)

Systems thinking itself is a complex adaptive system. Supported by empirical evidence, DSRP theory describes 4 simple rules that dynamically combine to explain the complexity of physical, natural, and social systems. Awareness of these patterns can help us to solve many societal and environmental problems.

We briefly present DSRP theory which describes four universal patterns and their underlying elements—identity (i) and other (o) for Distinctions (D), part (p) and whole (w) for Systems (S), action (a) and reaction (r) for Relationships (R), and point (ρ) and view (v) for Perspectives (P).

We describe these four building blocks and show how they can be mixed and matched. We conclude with some additional key aspects of the theory.

Read more

%d bloggers like this: