Repository: Freie Universität Berlin, Math Department

Transfer as a reciprocal process: How to foster receptivity to results of transdisciplinary research

Nagy, E. and Ransiek, A. and Schäfer, M. and Lux, A. and Bergmann, M. and Jahn, T. and Marg, O. and Theiler, L. (2020) Transfer as a reciprocal process: How to foster receptivity to results of transdisciplinary research. Environmental Science and Policy, 104 . pp. 148-160.

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Transdisciplinary research (TDR) seeks to address real-world problems and aims to be socially transformative. This normative objective extends beyond particular TDR projects, as real-world problems are embedded in concrete contexts but, at the same time, are also related to wider societal challenges that are not restricted to one context. Therefore, TDR generally entails transfer of knowledge and results to other contexts. However, the TDR discourse has mainly treated transfer efforts from the perspective of scientific generalization, translation and packaging of knowledge. Within this understanding of transfer, little attention has been paid to interplay between contexts and the role of new contexts themselves. This article is based on qualitative explorative research on four TDR projects. Its results were iteratively derived through project analysis, reflection on insights from the literature and discussions with TDR experts. We propose that transfer is a complex reciprocal process in which different types of knowledge are provided and transferred to other contexts, where knowledge is adapted, enriched and modified. In addition to project researchers, actors in other (pick-up) contexts also play an important role for successful transfer and appropriation of TDR results. Generating transfer potential within the duration of a project depends on being aware of potential pick-up contexts. To address the interdependent aspects of transfer (results, mediation, and appropriation in other contexts), we present a comprehensive model outlining TDR transfer processes. To support projects seeking to raise their transfer potential in a more conscious manner, we also formulate three overarching recommendations: 1) process results for transfer adequately, 2) identify and support intermediaries and, 3) increase awareness of and address other contexts. Considering these recommendations while also being aware of their interdependence may increase potential for transfer of knowledge and results to other contexts. Our conceptual understanding acknowledges the complexity and non-linearity of endeavors to take advantage of case-specifically gained knowledge and results in other contexts or at other scales.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Effective transdisciplinary research Comprehensive transfer model Knowledge transfer between contexts Transfer as societal reciprocal process Recommendations for enabling transfer to other contexts
Subjects:Social studies
ID Code:2886
Deposited By: Ulrike Eickers
Deposited On:14 Nov 2022 14:33
Last Modified:14 Nov 2022 14:33

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