Browsing by Subject "Interdisciplinarity"

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  • Holt, R. E.; Woods, P. J.; Ferreira, A. S. A.; Bardarson, H.; Bonanomi, S.; Boonstra, W. J.; Butler, W. E.; Diekert, F. K.; Fouzai, N.; Holma, M.; Kokkalis, A.; Kvile, K. O.; MacDonald, J. I.; Malanski, E.; Nieminen, E.; Ottosen, K. M.; Pedersen, M. W.; Richter, A.; Rogers, L.; Romagnoni, G.; Snickars, M.; Tornroos, A.; Weigel, B.; Whittington, J. D.; Yletyinen, J. (2017)
    As the world's social-environmental problems increasingly extend across boundaries, both disciplinary and political, there is a growing need for interdisciplinarity, not only in research per se, but also in doctoral education. We present the common pitfalls of interdisciplinary research in doctoral education, illustrating approaches towards solutions using the Nordic Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems and Resources under Climate Change (NorMER) research network as a case study. We provide insights and detailed examples of how to overcome some of the challenges of conducting interdisciplinary research within doctoral studies that can be applied within any doctoral/postdoctoral education programme, and beyond. Results from a self-evaluation survey indicate that early-career workshops, annual meetings and research visits to other institutions were the most effective learning mechanisms, whereas single discipline-focused courses and coursework were among the least effective learning mechanisms. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of components of NorMER, this case study can inform the design of future programmes to enhance interdisciplinarity in doctoral education, as well as be applied to science collaboration and academic research in general.
  • Hakkarainen, Viola T; Anderson, Christopher B.; Eriksson, Max; van Riper, Carena J.; Horcea-Milcu, Andra-Ioana; Raymond, C.M (2020)
    This study identifies and analyses the underlying assumptions of experts involved in the first author meeting (FAM) of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)'s Values Assessment, and how they shape understandings of the multiple values of nature. We draw from survey data collected from 94 experts attending the FAM. Respondents self-report the tendencies and aims they bring to the assessment (i.e. motivation), the type and amount of evidence they require for knowledge to be valid (i.e. confirmation) and their epistemic worldviews (i.e. objectivity). Four clusters emerged that correspond to Pragmatist, Post-Positivist, Constructivist and Transformative epistemic worldviews. This result clarifies how different knowledge claims are represented in science-policy processes. Despite the proportionately higher number of social scientists in the Values Assessment, compared with previous IPBES assessments, we still found that fewer experts have Constructivist or Transformative worldviews than Pragmatist or Post-Positivist outlooks, an imbalance that may influence the types of values and valuation perspectives emphasised in the assessment. We also detected a tension regarding what constitutes valid knowledge between Post-Positivists, who emphasised high levels of agreement, and Pragmatists and Constructivists, who did not necessarily consider agreement crucial. Conversely, Post-Positivists did not align with relational values and were more diverse in their views regarding definitions of multiple values of nature compared to other clusters. Pragmatists emphasized relational values, while Constructivists tended to consider all value types (including relational values) as important. We discuss the implications of our findings for future design and delivery of IPBES processes and interdisciplinary research.
  • Salmela, Mikko; MacLeod, Miles; Munck af Rosenschöld, Johan (2021)
    Interdisciplinarity is widely considered necessary to solving many contemporary problems, and new funding structures and instruments have been created to encourage interdisciplinary research at universities. In this article, we study a small technical university specializing in green technology which implemented a strategy aimed at promoting and developing interdisciplinary collaboration. It did so by reallocating its internal research funds for at least five years to “research platforms” that required researchers from at least two of the three schools within the university to participate. Using data from semi-structured interviews from researchers in three of these platforms, we identify specific tensions that the strategy has generated in this case: (1) in the allocation of platform resources, (2) in the division of labor and disciplinary relations, (3) in choices over scientific output and academic careers. We further show how the particular platform format exacerbates the identified tensions in our case. We suggest that certain features of the current platform policy incentivize shallow interdisciplinary interactions, highlighting potential limits on the value of attempting to push for interdisciplinarity through internal funding.
  • Kenter, Jasper O.; Raymond, Christopher M.; van Riper, Carena J.; Azzopardi, Elaine; Brear, Michelle R.; Calcagni, Fulvia; Christie, Ian; Christie, Michael; Fordham, Anne; Gould, Rachelle K.; Ives, Christopher D.; Hejnowicz, Adam P.; Gunton, Richard; Horcea-Milcu, Andra-Ioana; Kendal, Dave; Kronenberg, Jakub; Massenberg, Julian R.; O’Connor, Seb; Ravenscroft, Neil; Rawluk, Andrea; Raymond, Ivan J.; Rodríguez-Morales, Jorge; Thankappan, Samarthia (2019)
    This paper concludes a special feature of Sustainability Science that explores a broad range of social value theoretical traditions, such as religious studies, social psychology, indigenous knowledge, economics, sociology, and philosophy. We introduce a novel transdisciplinary conceptual framework that revolves around concepts of ‘lenses’ and ‘tensions’ to help navigate value diversity. First, we consider the notion of lenses: perspectives on value and valuation along diverse dimensions that describe what values focus on, how their sociality is envisioned, and what epistemic and procedural assumptions are made. We characterise fourteen of such dimensions. This provides a foundation for exploration of seven areas of tension, between: (1) the values of individuals vs collectives; (2) values as discrete and held vs embedded and constructed; (3) value as static or changeable; (4) valuation as descriptive vs normative and transformative; (5) social vs relational values; (6) different rationalities and their relation to value integration; (7) degrees of acknowledgment of the role of power in navigating value conflicts. In doing so, we embrace the ‘mess’ of diversity, yet also provide a framework to organise this mess and support and encourage active transdisciplinary collaboration. We identify key research areas where such collaborations can be harnessed for sustainability transformation. Here it is crucial to understand how certain social value lenses are privileged over others and build capacity in decision-making for understanding and drawing on multiple value, epistemic and procedural lenses.
  • Mäki, Uskali (2016)
    Compared to the massive literature from other disciplinary perspectives on interdisciplinarity (such as those from sociology, education, management, scientometrics), philosophy of science is only slowly beginning to pay systematic attention to this powerful trend in contemporary science. The paper provides some metaphilosophical reflections on the emerging "Philosophy of Interdisciplinarity" (PhID). What? I propose a conception of PhID that has the qualities of being broad and neutral as well as stemming from within the (also broadly conceived) agenda of philosophy of science. It will investigate features of science that reveal themselves when scientific disciplines are viewed in comparison or in contact with one another. PhID will therefore generate two kinds of information: comparative and contactual. Comparative information is about the similarities and differences between disciplines, while contactual information is about what happens and why when disciplines get in contact with each other. Virtually all issues and resources within the philosophy of science can be mobilized to bear on the project, including philosophical accounts of models, explanations, justification, evidence, progress, values, demarcation, incommensurability, and so on. Given that scientific disciplines are institutional entities, resources available (and forthcoming) in social epistemology and social ontology will also have to be invoked. Why? Establishing PhID is presently an obvious step to take for several reasons, including the following two. First, ID is an increasingly powerful characteristic of contemporary science and its management, and so it would be inappropriate for an empirically informed philosophy of science to ignore it. Second, contemporary philosophy of science happens to be particularly well equipped for addressing issues of ID thanks to the recent massive work in the more specialized fields of philosophies of special disciplines (of biology, of cognitive science, of economics, of engineering, etc.). How? Given the breadth and heterogeneity of its domain and tasks, the practice of PhID must be heavily collective. It must mobilize multiple competences and it must keep elaborating a systematic agenda (or perhaps several overlapping agendas in case there will be rival 'schools' of PhID). While a lot of new conceptual work is needed, the approach is bound to be emphatically empirical, with a cumulative and mutually complementary series of case studies to be conducted. Among the methods to be employed, good old textual analysis of scientific publications will be supplemented with interviews, 'experimental' techniques, participant observation as well as various interventionist approaches. The published work in PhID will often be authored jointly by philosophers and other scholars in science studies as well as practitioners in various scientific disciplines.
  • Nagatsu, Michiru; Davis, Taylor; DesRoches, C. Tyler; Koskinen, Inkeri; MacLeod, Miles; Stojanovic, Milutin; Thoren, Henrik (2020)
    Sustainability science seeks to extend scientific investigation into domains characterized by a distinct problem-solving agenda, physical and social complexity, and complex moral and ethical landscapes. In this endeavor, it arguably pushes scientific investigation beyond its usual comfort zones, raising fundamental issues about how best to structure such investigation. Philosophers of science have long scrutinized the structure of science and scientific practices, and the conditions under which they operate effectively. We propose a critical engagement between sustainability scientists and philosophers of science with respect to how to engage in scientific activity in these complex domains. We identify specific issues philosophers of science raise concerning current sustainability science and the contributions philosophers can make to resolving them. In conclusion, we reflect on the steps philosophers of science could take to advance sustainability science.
  • Nyqvist, Sanna Katariina (2018)