256 pages, 234 x 156 mm
Earthscan from Routledge
This title is currently reprinting.
From climate change to GM foods, we are increasingly confronted with complex, interconnected social and environmental problems that span disciplines, knowledge bases and value systems. This book offers a transdisciplinary, open approach for those working towards resolving these 'wicked' problems and highlights the crucial role of this 'transdisciplinary imagination' in addressing the shift to sustainable futures.
Tackling Wicked Problems provides readers with a framework that will guide the design and conduct of their own open-ended enquiries. In this approach, academic disciplines are combined with personal, local and strategic understanding and researchers are required to recognise multiple knowledge cultures, accept the inevitability of uncertainty, and clarify their own and others' ethical positions. The authors then comment on fifteen case studies which provide real life examples of how researchers have engaged with the opportunities and challenges of conducting transdisciplinary inquiries.
The book gives those who are grappling with complex problems innovative methods of inquiry that will allow them to work collaboratively towards long-term solutions.
Foreword Acknowledgements Part I: The Ideas
1. Towards a Just and Sustainable Future
2. Beyond Disciplinary Confinement to Imaginative Transdisciplinarity
3. A Philosophical Framework for an Open and Critical Transdisciplinary Inquiry
4. Collective Inquiry and Its Wicked Problems
5. Ignorance and Uncertainty Part II: The Practice
6. Conducting an Imaginative Transdisciplinary Inquiry
7. Specialized Inquiry
7a 'Now I'm Not an Expert in Anything'
7b Global Inequalities in Research
7c Applying Specialized Knowledge
8. Community-based Inquiry
8a Inclusive Governance for Sustainability
8b Fences and Windows
8c Calculating Community Risk
9. Organisational Inquiry
9a Embedded Scales
9b Adaptiveness and Openness
9c Truth, Knowledge and Data
10. Individual-focused Inquiry
10a Making Their Way
10b White Skin, Black Masks
10c Exploring the Doctoral Interface
11. Holistic Inquiry
11a Designerly Ways of Knowing
11b Rethinking Changes
11c All Knowledge Is Indigenous Part III: The Future
12. Human Ecology and Open Transdisciplinary Inquiry
13. Can There Be a Community of Practice?
Valerie A Brown AO, is Director of the Local Sustainability Project, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University; and Emeritus Professor of Environmental Health, University of Western Sydney. She has held national advisory positions in public health, environmental management and higher education, and presented innovative programs in these fields in the Asia-Pacific, Canada and Europe. Valerie is the author of over 200 research papers and 12 books on linking social and environmental issues and social change
John A Harris is a university academic, outdoors educator, and former Head of School of Environmental Science, University of Canberra. He has over 35 years experience in ecological and social research, post-graduate supervision and undergraduate teaching. John was a pioneer in the establishment of the professional field of natural resource management in Australia. His academic teaching and research appointments at CSIRO Plant Industry and various universities include the Australian National University, Colorado State University and the University of Hanoi as well as consultant ecologist to UN Man and the Biosphere Programme and the National Museum of Australia.
Jacqueline Y Russell has recently completed a highly-regarded PhD thesis on a critical systems approach to the study of complex socio-environmental issues. Since then, she has been a researcher at the Australian Bureau of Rural Sciences, working in collaborative teams to investigate the social impacts of drought, the perceptions of climate risk and adaptation in rural communities. Her special interest has been on the ways in which conflicting values for water might be negotiated during the most persistent and severe drought on record. She is co-author of a number of reports on her research and has presented papers on the findings at local, national and international conferences.