Complex Issues: Transdisciplinary Approaches To Generating Knowledge And Solutions
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOver the past 50 years, complex scientific and social problems, defined as those for which the facts are uncertain, the risks great and the time frame for resolution short, have imposed demands on the scientific community to conduct scientific research that incorporates knowledge from stakeholders and expands beyond the boundaries of a single discipline. Responding to these demands, new scientific research concepts and methods have been developed and are still evolving. Beginning with the seminal work by Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz on post normal science, this thesis traces the development of post normal science through the literature and examines the development and analysis of the three main components of transdisciplinarity: (a) problem identification; (b) knowledge production arising out of integrated research efforts by stakeholders and scientists from multiple disciplines; and, (c) the implementation of those research results. Transdisciplinarity will remain merely a concept and not a viable methodology until researchers are willing to engage in better ways to communicate, view, and process information, establish priorities and accept the methodologies of other disciplines. Further, transdisciplinarity will not realize its potential so long as researchers do not use the research process to both educate stakeholders and to be educated by stakeholders and also participate in the political arena in order to translate research into action.
Degree ProgramGraduate College