By Maria Helena Guimarães, Olivia Bina and Christian Pohl
If disciplines shape scientific research by forming the primary institutional and cognitive units in academia, how do researchers start being interested in and working with a transdisciplinary approach? How does this influence their career development?
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.
How can tasks and goals among partners in a collaboration be effectively negotiated, especially when one party is dependent on the deliverables of another party? How does knowledge asymmetry affect such negotiations? What is knowledge asymmetry anyway and how can it be dealt with?
What is knowledge asymmetry?
My PhD research involves historians who are dependent on computational experts to develop an algorithm or user interface for historical research. They therefore needed to be aware of what the computational experts were doing.
What’s needed to enable the integration of concepts, theories, methods, and results across disciplines? Why is communication among experts important, but not sufficient? Interdisciplinary experts must also meta-cognize: both individually and as a team they must monitor, evaluate and regulate their cognitive processes and mental representations. Without this, expertise will function suboptimally both for individuals and teams. Metacognition is not an easy task, though, and deserves more attention in both training and collaboration processes than it usually gets. Why is metacognition so challenging and how can it be facilitated?