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Ecologies of Transdisciplinary Research

Together with Paul Shrivastava, David Wasieleski, and Philippe Mairesse, Laszlo Zsolnai published a paper entitled “Ecologies of Transdisciplinary Research” in Ground Works in August 2022.

The paper emphasizes that transdisciplinarity is different from interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity in crucial ways. Trans-disciplinary work addresses problems from the real world, not disciplinary gaps in knowledge, or combining disciplines for new understandings. Transdisciplinarity involves the co-creation of integrated knowledge across disciplines with stakeholders to solve problems on the ground. It represents knowledge in action.

There is a need for the arts to be imbued with the sciences and vice versa to fully address the social and environmental crises facing the planet. Transdisciplinarity can help meet this need if certain barriers are overcome: namely, delimited thinking and dysfunctional institutional structures.

Tanpo Solar School in Ladakh, India

The paper uses the case of the Tanpo Solar School in Ladakh, India as an illustrative example of transdisciplinary work that combines art and science to serve the needs of the local community and respect the ecology of the natural world.

This open access paper can be downloaded at