Interdisciplinarity in Transdisciplinary Projects: Circulating Knowledges, Practices and Effects

A new article in DiSPThe Planning Review I co-authored with Helen Holmes and the rest of the Solar Futures team argues that the emphasis on solving substantive “real-world” problems through interdisciplinary research collaboration can neglect the wider value created by such collaborations.


DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2018.1487646

Championing the role of a knowledge integration and reflection facilitator, the article contends that more recognition be given to the value of “spillover” effects associated with interdisciplinary modes of working, rather than focusing solely on knowledge outputs and impacts. Drawing on embedded research conducted in relation to a project on local energy futures involving physicists, architects and geographers, the paper illustrates such “spillover” in relation to academic practice in teaching, project management and research methods. Such “spillovers” signal that what travels in interdisciplinary working is much more than formal knowledge and point to potential long-term legacy effects from interdisciplinary working occurring back in the disciplines.

Helen Holmes, Nicky Gregson, Matt Watson, Alastair Buckley, Prue Chiles, Anna Krzywoszynska & Jose Maywin(2018) Interdisciplinarity in Transdisciplinary Projects: Circulating Knowledges, Practices and Effects, disP – The Planning Review, 54:2, 77-93, DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2018.1487646

Author: Matt Watson

A Human Geographer at the University of Sheffield, interested in how everyday human action and social orders make each other, with implications for sustainability and wellbeing. Currently looking at energy including how to tackle demand for it.

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