The bumpy road to transdisciplinary research

Prof. Erik Mathijs, coordinator of TRANSMANGO, wrote about transdisciplinary research on the blog of KU Leuven: Multi-actor approaches and the necessity of giving space to do ‘boundary work’.


In today’s world, the wickedness, complexity and uncertainty of societal issues requires that traditional disciplinary approaches of science be complemented with what is often called transdisciplinary approaches. Transdisciplinarity first of all entails interdisciplinarity. Interdisciplinarity goes beyond multi-disciplinary approaches by designing integrated frameworks that cut across disciplines. Secondly, the ‘trans’ in transdisciplinarity refers to the active engagement and participation of stakeholders on equal par to the scientists. In Horizon 2020 it is called the multi-actor approach. However, as most scientists have disciplinary backgrounds and many may not be accustomed to giving so much power to stakeholders, any transdisciplinary endeavour is bound to be a learning experiment. In other words, doing transdisciplinary research requires that some boundary work be done, as the boundaries between science and non-science get blurred. However, much more is at stake than just creating common language.

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View Original post on kuleuven.be: The bumpy road to transdisciplinary research | Erik Mathijs

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