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Über dieses Buch

Interdisciplinarity has seemingly become a paradigm for modern and meaningful research. Clearly, the interdisciplinary modus of deliberation enables to unfold relevant but quite different disciplinary perspectives to the reflection of broader scientific questions or societal problems. However, whether the comprehensive results of interdisciplinary reflection prove to be valid or to be acceptable in trans-disciplinary terms depends upon certain preconditions, which have to be fulfilled for securing scientific quality and social trust in advisory contexts.

The present book is written by experts and practitioners of interdisciplinary research and policy advice. It analyses topical and methodological approaches towards interdisciplinarity, starting with the current role of scientific research in society. The volume continues with contributions to the issues of knowledge and acting and to trans-disciplinary deliberation. The final conclusions address the scientific system as substantial actor itself as well as the relevant research and education politics.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
Today, interdisciplinarity seems to become a matter of course and a promising answer for dealing with contemporary questions of science and/or society within a complex, uncertain and confusing world. Proponents of this idea would argue that this world appears to be much better accessible to interdisciplinary reflection than to ordinary disciplinary analysis.
C. F. Gethmann, M. Carrier, G. Hanekamp, M. Kaiser, G. Kamp, S. Lingner, M. Quante, F. Thiele

Chapter 2. Science in Society

Abstract
Science is not appreciated by the general public because it ventures to capture the processes in the first microsecond after the Big Bang or to identify the fundamental parts of all matter. Rather, public esteem—and public funding—is for the greater part grounded in the expectation that science-based technology development is a driving force of the economy and helps boost its competiveness. Consequently, it is not scientific understanding as such that is highly evaluated in the first place but the transdisciplinary character of science: research takes up problems posed and demands articulated from outside of science. The research agenda of science as a transdisciplinary endeavour is formed by extra-scientific influences.
C. F. Gethmann, M. Carrier, G. Hanekamp, M. Kaiser, G. Kamp, S. Lingner, M. Quante, F. Thiele

Chapter 3. Knowing and Acting

Abstract
Transdisciplinary science addresses problems of specifically practical concern that are raised by the general public or by politics. In this chapter we deal with “scientific expertise”, i.e., recommendations issued by scientists on problems that are relevant from an extra-scientific point of view. These recommendations are based on scientific knowledge, but directed at concrete problems. Expert recommendations address specific challenges and are expected to provide tailor-made proposals as to how to deal with these challenges. Scientific experts often give policy advice and draw on science for elaborating their recommendations. For instance, scientific experts decide about the efficacy of medical drugs or about the safety of tanning devices or cell phones (as the German radiation protection commission, the Strahlenschutzkommission, does). The usual self-understanding of scientific experts is that they bring scientific knowledge to bear on the particular case at hand. Expertise is often passed off as the mere tapping of the repository of knowledge or of simply applying scientific knowledge to experience.
C. F. Gethmann, M. Carrier, G. Hanekamp, M. Kaiser, G. Kamp, S. Lingner, M. Quante, F. Thiele

Chapter 4. Trans-Disciplinary Deliberation

Abstract
Interdisciplinary scientific and scholarly work, in particular when it is occasioned by transdisciplinary goals, is largely aimed at advisory services: When technical or social developments are not just passively tolerated, not simply accepted as ‘the way things go’, rather when they should be actively shaped so that the desired consequences are most likely to occur, and the unwelcome consequences most likely avoided, then the need for professional and interdisciplinary advice increasingly arises in the question of the means that are to be taken. Thereby, it is a basic topos that advice-receiving clients emphasize as well as advice providers when they deal with their advisory services that good advising is a service that as smoothly as possible supports the client in the achievement of the goals he has set—according to his own preferences.
C. F. Gethmann, M. Carrier, G. Hanekamp, M. Kaiser, G. Kamp, S. Lingner, M. Quante, F. Thiele

Chapter 5. Conclusions

Abstract
Interdisciplinary research is not a fashionable niche within the concert of disciplinary research but a cross-cutting effort with a clear purpose. The appropriateness of the interdisciplinary mode of research depends on the specific scientific questions at stake and the necessary perspectives, descriptions, theories and methods.
C. F. Gethmann, M. Carrier, G. Hanekamp, M. Kaiser, G. Kamp, S. Lingner, M. Quante, F. Thiele

Backmatter

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