There is much talk about transdisciplinary work. Particularly when it comes to environmental toxicities and hazards that typically affect groups already considered vulnerable, transdisciplinary approaches are useful in the pursuit of environmental justice. Through collaborative and joint efforts, environmental problems can be addressed at local, situated, and multi-scale levels by integrating diverse stakeholders into research and solution-finding.
But what does this big mouthful ‘transdisciplinarity’ mean in practice? Where could one start exploring, and where can one learn from others’ successes or mistakes? We see transdisciplinary modes as a particularly valuable way of working towards environmental justice. But we believe the idea and methods needs a thoughtful and critical engagement. We also believe transdisciplinarity is not the only potential avenue of striving for a livable future. This form of collaboration may not always fit your context, or may harbour too many political risks.
Generated by the Enjust working group on transdisciplinarity, the following resources are meant to support you in this exploration. Members of the group are: Judith Bopp, Jeanne Féaux de la Croix, Kathrin Eitel, Mennatullah Hendawy, Yvonne Kunz, Julia Rawlins and Juliane Schumacher. There are different ways of defining transdisciplinary practice. We understand it here as:
“…a reflexive research approach that addresses societal problems by means of interdisciplinary collaboration as well as the collaboration between researchers and extra-scientific actors; its aim is to enable mutual learning processes between science and society; integration is the main cognitive challenge of the research process.” (Source: Jahn, T., Bergmann, M. & Keil, F. (2012). Transdisciplinarity: Between mainstreaming and marginalization. Ecological Economics, 79, 1-10.)