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“Methods for Transdisciplinary Research” now available in English
17 August 2012
ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research
The German book “Methoden transdisziplinärer Forschung” is now available in an English edition. In it, methods for knowledge integration are described in order to support this complex scientific research approach that is used in many scientific fields today. Co-authors are Thomas Jahn, spokesperson of the executive board of ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research, and the two ISOE-researchers Matthias Bergmann and Engelbert Schramm.
Transdisciplinarity is an approach for research on the complex real-world problems our societies are facing. During the research process new knowledge is produced by integrating different problem perceptions and knowledge bases from sciences and societal practice; the aim is to contribute to both societal and scientific progress. The authors systematically describe scholarly methods for the associated tasks of cognitive integration and give examples from research practice.
The 2010 German edition of the book was the result of several years of research into methods, quality standards and evaluation criteria of transdisciplinary research. Above all, it took into account researchers’ wish of being supported methodologically in their practical research work. As a result, the first collection of integration methods summarises theoretical knowledge and practical examples which can then be used for various transdisciplinary research tasks. “Methods for Transdisciplinary Research” is now considered to be a standard textbook for lecturing and teaching.
With the English translation, the authors are reacting to basic demand as it is also being signalled outside of the German-speaking community. Thus, integration methods and practical examples are entering the international discourse on transdisciplinarity. “This discourse mirrors the increasing awareness in the scientific community that the transdisciplinary approach is most useful, maybe even inevitable, when it comes to investigating societal problems,” it says in the introduction by Matthias Bergmann.
Julie Thompson Klein wrote the preface to the English language edition. The former president of the Association for Integrative Studies (AIS) is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook on Inter-disciplinarity (2010). Klein feels that the English translation of the standard work is important for two reasons: “The first is the growing prominence of transdisciplinary research (TDR) for solving “real-world” problems. The second is heightened focus on integration methods for the process of TDR.”