Challenges of transdisciplinary research as interactive knowledge generation experiences from transdisciplinary case study research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

There are already a variety of contributions focusing on the aspect of knowledge generation in transdisciplinary research. Along the same lines, this article analyses the features of knowledge generation in transdisciplinary case studies initiated at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and conducted in Switzerland. Austria. Germany, and Sweden. The article starts with the description of what kind of knowledge is generated when and how in transdisciplinary case studies. On this basis, the quality of the underlying social interactions in terms of challenges, pitfalls and good practices is critically reflected against normative guidelines derived from the literature. Promoting the concept of transdisciplinary research as a "third epistemic way" - demarcated from involving laypersons in scientific research ("the primacy of science") as well as from classical decision support ("the primacy of practice") - four challenges of joint knowledge generation are discussed: "confounded agendas", "separate data philosophies", "reluctance to face exposure", and "co-existing values". A new type of mediated negotiation, so-called "epistemediation", is proposed at the transdisciplinary interface between scientists and local experts, incorporating a new type of multi-layered peer review of expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalGAIA
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Case study research
  • Epistemology
  • Extended peer review
  • Interactive knowledge generation
  • Mediated negotiation
  • Transdisciplinarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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