Transdisciplinarity

Transdisciplinarity is a term describing research carried out not only by an interdisciplinary team of scientists, but actively including views and perspectives of stakeholders in the scope and process of the research, and the implementation of its results.

It can be loosely translated as “applied research with stakeholder participation”, and is a basic principle of IINAS work.

Transdisciplinarity is oriented towards integration of multiple disciplinary backgrounds, and “real world” views expressed by stakeholders. This time-consuming approach requires extensive use of modern methodologies to communicate and interact, as well as (external) moderation and (self-)reflection to steer the process.

In the European and international realm of research, transdisciplinarity must address also the multitude of stakeholders in different locations, the variety of cultural backgrounds, and language barriers. Still, it holds promise to help addressing the science-policy gap which has been identified as a key issue for the 21st century in the UNEP study 21 Issues for the 21st Century - Results of the UNEP Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues; Alcamo, J., Leonard, S.A. (eds.); Nairobi 2012