Interdisciplinarity in Integrated Environmental Research in Germany: Lessons From an Empirical Evaluation
|Publisher:||ARTEC Forschungszentrum Nachhaltigkeit||Abstract:||
Endeavours to understand the complex interactions between society and environment have stimulated a lively debate over the prerequisites for interdisciplinarity and integrated environmental research. One highly contested issue is whether, and to what extent, interdisciplinarity can be achieved within the framework of present academic structures, considering their strong disciplinary orientation. Some scholars see a need for a fundamental reorganisa-tion of science and its links back to society, in order to be able to develop trans-disciplinary and problem-oriented knowledge. Other authors reject this position and highlight the need for strictly disciplinary research which then has to be integrated into interdisciplinary research by appropriate organisational means. Against this background, this article describes to what extent the research organisation and research practices currently applied in major German university-based environmental research programmes can be said to be interdisciplinary and integrative. The programmes were also examined to find out how different outcomes could be explained. The most important finding was that the full challenge of interdisciplinarity only becomes apparent during the actual research process. Being predominantly based on an additive form of integration of results, these research processes were multidisciplinary rather than interdisciplinary, but nevertheless produced an interdisciplinary "added value" beyond disciplinary perspectives. Variations in outcomes corresponded to differences in the organisation of the respective research processes and their management. Thus, while this study confirms the dependency of interdisciplinarity on suitable organisational structures and endeavours, it also points to the need for developing a supportive academic culture.
|Keywords:||Umweltforschung; Nachhaltigkeitsforschung; Interdisziplinarität; Forschungspolitik||Issue Date:||Dec-2007||Series:||artec-paper||Band:||148||Type:||Bericht, Report||ISSN:||1613-4907||DOI:||10.26092/elib/757||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-elib49605||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||Zentrale Wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen und Kooperationen||Institute:||ARTEC Forschungszentrum Nachhaltigkeit|
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checked on Dec 7, 2021
checked on Dec 7, 2021
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