By Dena Fam, Julie Thompson Klein, Sabine Hoffmann, Cynthia Mitchell and Christian Pohl
The concept of integration is widely regarded as the crux of transdisciplinary research, education, and practice. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach or methodology. Projects and programs vary in purpose, scale and scope, problem focus, research question, mix of expertise, degree of coordination and communication, timing, and responsibility for integration. Based on findings in a study of integration we conducted (Pohl et al., 2021), we address four common questions to provide insights into transdisciplinary integration as a multidimensional interactive process.
1. Does integration require coming to consensus on a contested issue?
Not necessarily. Agreement on a final single understanding or solution is only one kind of integration.
Other kinds do not require agreement or consensus. Instead, they allow perspectives reflecting different ways of knowing related to different knowledge communities and knowers to coexist. Such other kinds of integration include: