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Kimberly Nicholas

Kimberly Nicholas

Senior Lecturer, Docent, Director of Studies PhD school

Kimberly Nicholas

Thinking about knowing: conceptual foundations for interdisciplinary environmental research

Author

  • Sanjeev Khagram
  • Kimberly Nicholas
  • Dena Macmynowski Bever
  • Justin Warren
  • Elizabeth H. Richards
  • Kirsten Oleson
  • Justin Kitzes
  • Rebecca Katz
  • Rebeca Hwang
  • Rebecca Goldman
  • Jason Funk
  • Kate A. Brauman

Summary, in English

Working across knowledge-based research programmes, rather than institutional structures, should be central to interdisciplinary research. In this paper, a novel framework is proposed to facilitate interdisciplinary research, with the goals of promoting communication, understanding and collaborative work. Three core elements need to be addressed to improve interdisciplinary research: the types (forms and functions) of theories, the underlying philosophies of knowledge and the combination of research styles; these three elements combine to form the research programme. Case studies from sustainability science and environmental security illustrate the application of this research programme-based framework. This framework may be helpful in overcoming often oversimplified distinctions, such as qualitative/quantitative, deductive/inductive, normative/descriptive, subjective/objective and theory/practice. Applying this conceptual framework to interdisciplinary research should foster theoretical advances, more effective communication and better problem-solving in increasingly interdisciplinary environmental fields.

Department/s

  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year

2010

Language

English

Pages

388-397

Publication/Series

Environmental Conservation

Volume

37

Issue

4

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Topic

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Keywords

  • theory development
  • sustainability science
  • research methods
  • philosophy of science
  • interdisciplinary research
  • epistemology
  • environment and security
  • environmental studies

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0376-8929