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Transdisziplinarität: Problemorientierung ohne Methodenzwang


Transdisziplinarität: Problemorientierung ohne Methodenzwang

Jaeger, Jochen A.G. and Scheringer, Martin (1998) Transdisziplinarität: Problemorientierung ohne Methodenzwang. GAIA: Ecological Perspectives in Science, Humanities, and Economics, 7 (1). pp. 10-25. ISSN 0940-5550

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In order to distinguish transdisciplinary research projects from inter- and multi-disciplinary ones, we define five types of scientific problems. On this basis, we propose a definition of transdisciplinarity which comprises two parts: First, transdisciplinary research deals with scientific problems derived from "real-world problems" which do not fit into the system of scientific disciplines (for instance, environmental problems). Second, transdisciplinary research is characterized by a four-stage process of problem solving: (1) transition from the real-world problem to a scientific comprehension of this problem and identification of main questions; (2) subdivision of the entire problem into sub-problems with well-defined interrelations; (3) free choice of scientific methods adequate for each of the sub-problems, including transfer of methods from their original field of application to the new context (trans-disciplinary use of methods); (4) re-combination of the solutions obtained for the subproblems to an answer to the entire problem. Some recent projects of environmental research are presented as examples to illustrate this understanding of transdisciplinarity. Teamwork and application-orientated results turn out to be neither specific nor necessary for transdisciplinary research. Finally, several conclusions are drawn concerning research practice and higher education policy. In order to encourage transdisciplinary research and to overcome the structural obstacles of the present research system, institutional changes seem inevitable. Transdisciplinary research cannot be done as a side-line to disciplinary research. It requires appropriate resources and has to be provided with a separate research assignment.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Article
Authors:Jaeger, Jochen A.G. and Scheringer, Martin
Journal or Publication:GAIA: Ecological Perspectives in Science, Humanities, and Economics
  • Transdisciplinary Research
  • none
Keywords:cross-disciplinary research, higher education policy, interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, problem-orientated research, transdisciplinarity
ID Code:974444
Deposited By: Jochen Jaeger
Deposited On:04 Jul 2012 14:26
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:38
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