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Integrating Research and Practice in Emerging Climate Services—Lessons from Other Transdisciplinary Dialogues

Part of the Springer Climate book series (SPCL)

Abstract

Because of their social and ecological impacts, complex issues of climate and broader environmental change have taken centre stage in public discourses and public policy. These issues typically transcend disciplinary problem-solving and call for cross-disciplinary as well as transdisciplinary research approaches, i.e. approaches that include practice partners and aim for solving real-world problems. A case in point are climate services, a newly emerging field that aims at delivering customised climate information , products and other services in relation to climate. This chapter proceeds on the assumption that climate services can benefit from experiences of integrating research and practice to solve real-world problems in other fields such as public health and social inequality. Based on this assumption, the aim of this chapter is twofold: we firstly describe selected results of a literature study that systematically reviewed and compared the use of transdisciplinary approaches across fields. We secondly derive a list of quality criteria for transdisciplinary dialogues from the literature and from the outcome of a workshop with practitioners that we organised in November 2014. Both may inform good transdisciplinary practice for climate services.

Keywords

  • Transdisciplinary research
  • Practice partner participation
  • Climate change
  • Climate services
  • Literature review
  • Quality criteria

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Fig. 8.1
Fig. 8.2

Notes

  1. 1.

    We use the terms cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary interchangeably to refer to research collaboration across disciplinary boundaries but among scientists only.

  2. 2.

    These practitioners are often labelled ‘stakeholders’ in the literature. The term originates from the management literature where it denotes ‘any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of a corporation’s purpose’ (Freeman 2010 [1984], vi). In transdisciplinary contexts, however, the term stakeholder is problematic in our view because it obscures the fact that scientists are as much stakeholders in this context as is everyone else. We therefore propose and use the term ‘practice partner/practitioner’ to denote non-scientific actors.

  3. 3.

    A leading institutional player is the ‘Institute for Social-Ecological Research’ (ISOE) in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

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Correspondence to Susanne Schuck-Zöller .

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Schuck-Zöller, S., Brinkmann, C., Rödder, S. (2018). Integrating Research and Practice in Emerging Climate Services—Lessons from Other Transdisciplinary Dialogues. In: Serrao-Neumann, S., Coudrain, A., Coulter, L. (eds) Communicating Climate Change Information for Decision-Making. Springer Climate. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74669-2_8

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