Fostering Transdisciplinary Science to Meet 21st-Century Challenges: How Can Ecology Learn from the 'Science of Team Science'?
Tuesday, August 11, 2015: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
309, Baltimore Convention Center
Sharon Kingsland, Johns Hopkins University
Ann Kinzig, Arizona State University
The need to pursue ecological problems through transdisciplinary research has become urgent over the past 30 years due to the complexity of environmental problems. Recently a new field has emerged that focuses on the “Science of Team Science,” which studies when and why inter- and transdisciplinary science teams work together effectively. This field explores ways of enhancing research across disciplines by cultivating the integration of knowledge across areas of expertise, while fostering a climate of trust and communication that enables people from different disciplines to work together. Much of this literature has emerged in the context of biomedical or military sciences, but there are obvious applications to ecology, where a key goal is to build a scholarly foundation for solving problems that possess both social and environmental challenges. This symposium aims to inform ESA members of some of the findings of this new field and to open dialogue about how these findings might be used to strengthen ecology. We also explore new types of institutions that foster transdisciplinary research. After a historical overview that highlights the lessons of the past, the symposium focuses on innovative transdisciplinary research directions, insights emerging from the “science of team science,” current and future challenges in ecology, and case studies illustrating transdisciplinary approaches. The symposium is sponsored by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, Annapolis, Maryland.