Trans Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 15. Nr. August 2004

1.6. The Unifying Method of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences: The Method of Transdisciplinarity
HerausgeberIn | Editor | Éditeur: Josephine Papst (Graz)

Buch: Das Verbindende der Kulturen | Book: The Unifying Aspects of Cultures | Livre: Les points communs des cultures

Transdisciplinarity and action research - Developing policy relevant knowledge

Hans Keune (Flemish Centre of Expertise for Health and Environment, Antwerp, Belgium)



This paper deals with the question of how policy relevant knowledge on Health and Environment is developed within the framework of the Flemish Centre of Expertise for Health and Environment. Applied research into complex problems concerning environment and health, brings forward questions on the relation between policy, science and society. In this paper these questions will be articulated for further research. The approach to these questions will be described against the background of applied social scientific research. The paradigm of transdisciplinarity is inspiration for action research. Whereby up to now the counterpart of the paradigm of transdisciplinarity is in force in terms of trying to reach a constructive and pragmatic process of development and learning in close cooperation with different relevant actors.


1. Introduction

My working hypothesis is that scientific knowledge is socially constructed. This means that knowledge is connected to the actors that influence knowledge production, to the visions of these actors on the problems faced. When knowledge has the purpose of being policy relevant, and policymakers are involved in the process of knowledge production, this leads to a complex process. When the research focus also concerns complex issues with great societal importance, this becomes even more complex. This is exactly what the Centre for Health and Environment in Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, is working on.

In the context of the Centre of expertise several actors are to be involved. Within the Centre different scientific disciplines work together. This means that multidisciplinary research cooperation is an important feature of the Centre. This does not mean that interdisciplinary research or expertise is to be taken for granted. In Belgium this still is quit uncommon. The multidisciplinary effort is done in close consultation with government representatives, being members of the steering committee of the Centre. Furthermore dialogue and cooperation with actors external to the Centre is aimed for, although still not realised. When complex problems with great societal relevance are at stake, it is legitimate to look at the relevance of dialogue and cooperation with actors external to the Centre. Choices made during the research process can be of societal relevance. So-called lay expertise can be a valuable contribution to the difficult scientific endeavour.

The social scientists within the Centre try to contribute to by focusing specifically on the knowledge production process, and by looking for ways to shape this process sociologically. Explicitly, I do not say 'to better shape'. It is meant to be a search in cooperation with the other actors of the Centre, scientists and policymakers. The question of what is 'better' should be answered jointly. The social scientist offers reflective methods for looking at the functioning of the Centre and assists in looking for desirable forms of cooperative knowledge development.

This paper does not present end results of this search for reflection and cooperation for the Centre for Health and Environment: the search only just started. Because this search wants to take into account scientific experience in other contexts, we look at relevant theory and literature. This will form the main part of this paper. Here again the reader should not expect conclusions. I hope to sketch a variety of visions and perspectives on knowledge production for practical purpose on the basis of which the reader can choose him or herself what is most appealing. I will focus especially on action research as the main source of inspiration for the applied social scientific approach. The paradigm of transdisciplinarity is still too new for me to be able to take it into my considerations. The paradigm of transdisciplinarity is not a constructivist view of scientific truth since it is a realistic paradigm that demands for the acceptance of the different level of reality and for a fine-grained approach to this multi-dimensional reality.(1)

First I will describe the origin of the Centre for Health and Environment and how it is organised. Next I will give an overview of different visions on knowledge development. After this I will focus on the usefulness of the concepts of action research and probably in the future the paradigm of transdisciplinarity. Finally I will describe the social scientific research activities within the Centre for Health and Environment.


2. Centre for Health and Environment

2.1 Centres for Policy Relevant Research

In 2001 twelve Flemish Centres for policy relevant research were started (In Dutch: ). Their main task is scientific research on priority issues for government policy. This way the Flemish government hopes to build more stability in policy relevant research, and to broaden the information base with regard to these priority issues. Some of these issues are: administrative Organisation, Entrepreneurship, Traffic Safety, Environmental Policy Sciences and Health and Environment. A steering group, in which representatives of governmental institutions are seated, is attached to each Centre. In the steering group policymakers discuss the information production and valorisation with the researchers.

2.2 Complex relation Health & Environment on the societal agenda

At the international level experts more and more come to the conclusion that environmental problems have serious consequences for public health.(2) The number of environmentally related cancers is rising, an increasing number of people suffer from respiratory problems, fertility problems are on the rise, and so on. In Flanders also the emergency bells have sounded. The causal relations between environment and health is very complex and to a large extent unknown. In the European Union tens of thousands of chemical substances are on the market.(3) For a number of individual toxic substances the health effects from high doses are well known. Unknown are the effects of small doses of different substances over a longer period. Also unknown are the combined effects of different substances. There are clues though about DNA-damage, hormone disruptions and loss of sperm quality.

It is not always possible to prove unambiguously that a relation exists between environmental pollution and certain health effects.(4) Moreover this does not only concern direct effects. Many scientific uncertainties exist. Furthermore scientists can and do differ in opinion about these issues. Recognising uncertainties and the limitations of science however does not mean that research up to now has not been able to make things more clear or that further research is useless. On the contrary.

The many forms of environmental pollution are good reasons to worry and to develop policy and research. The question how to organise research and policy on these topics is difficult to answer because of complexities. This does not only relate to the complex relationship between environment and health, but also to societal choices. Next to toxic substances, different societal perspectives and interests play an important role.

2.3 Research on Health & Environment in Flanders: the Centre for Health & Environment

In order to better map the information on the complex relationship between environment and health in Flanders, the Centre for Health and Environment started at the end of 2001, for the period 2001-2007 ( ). By means of different forms of research one hopes to build up expertise with which policy on health risks and environmental problems can be supported.

From multi-, to inter- to transdisciplinarity?

All Flemish universities and one Dutch university together with two other Flemish research organisations form a research consortium. Different sorts of expertise work together within this framework: from medical - environmental to social scientific expertise. This multidisciplinary cooperation can be seen as a first step into developing more interdisciplinary expertise, research and training for young scientists. Part of the research within the Centre is on the basis of PhD-research. In Belgium, interdisciplinary practice still is at the beginning. The complexity though of many research topics demands more of this type of expertise. One of the challenges within the Centre is to combine the environmental and medical expertise with social scientific expertise. The need for this is recognized. The implications of this insight will be part of the ongoing applied research.

Next to this dialogue and cooperation with policy actors is an important focus of the Centre. Scientific knowledge as such still has to be embedded in policy practice in order to be policy relevant. This is no easy task. Policy makers have totally different views on what is important for information and knowledge to be useful. The main questions they ask are like: ok, now I know how this problem works, but what can I do about it? What is the use of information about problems when there is yet no cure for these problems? Another challenge is the embedment of both information and scientific knowledge and the policies based on it in society. What will be the relevance of information and of scientific knowledge in the local context?

In the future lessons could be learned concerning the paradigm of transdisciplinarity in dialogue and cooperation. The main focus will be on questions like: how applied research interests relate to interests in other than scientific contexts, be it policymaking or local contexts? What is the relevance of information and scientific knowledge in non-scientific contexts and non-scientific experience in sciences. In principal I think these different spheres should complement each other. It will be interesting to see how the different actors involved here will deal with this once the process is underway. Hopefully these lessons will be among the main fruits of the work of this Centre.


3. Policy relevant knowledge development: theory and research

3.1. Science and policy

The role of science seems to have changed over the last years. This change bears a paradox inside. On the one hand faith in science appears to be in crisis, on the other hand science is more and more called upon.(5) A recent Dutch example to illustrate the difficult relationship between policy and science is the case of 'De Kwaadsteniet'.(6) In 1999 this bell-ringer, a senior statistics expert at the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), announced publicly that the assessment methods used by RIVM were not adequate. This caused quite some uproar in the Dutch Parliament. Apparently the complexity of societal issues takes its toll. Probably though not only science and the complexity of issues are responsible here. Probably the policymakers also play a role. Rotmans (complains that policymakers expect from the scientists a) transparent models that are easy to use and b) that they have to do justice to the complexity of the issues analysed in the models.(7)

Social construction

According to new insights on information, the meaning of facts is not unequivocal, but is attributed by people. This meaning is socially constructed by judging it in a certain way, thus is not value free. Concerning one fact, several views and meanings may exist. This social construction influences the factual developments. One example is the social construction of technological artefacts, which is described beautifully by Bijker.(8) Bal gives a short overview of the roots of constructivist research on science.(9)

In 1934 Karl Popper was one of the first to knock on the gates of the objective positivist science that promised to describe reality unambiguously. According to Popper the maximum science can reach is an approach to truth, which can be tested and refuted. In the early nineteen sixties Thomas Kuhn extended the critique on what he called 'normal science'. He pointed at the role of paradigms in sciences. Paradigms are broadly accepted views on what is good science. These views may change when existing views prove to be insufficient for answering scientific questions. According to Kuhn the choice between competing paradigms is not based on ratio, but is influenced by psychological and social factors.


The paradigm of transdisciplinarity(10) is an interesting approach for dealing with the complexities that confront the development scientific knowledge. Transdisciplinarity departs from the idea that reality is inherently complex and exists of different levels. Moreover it concerns dynamics at several levels of reality at once. This means that e.g. disciplinary science only concerns parts of one level of reality. Schrader(11) refers to Kitcher(12) who "proposes that we might think of science as something like mapping reality. (...) no map ever maps the totality of places. Rather, maps are always of particular areas (...)."

The 'perspective of beyondness' is an important principle of trandisciplinarity. A pluralistic point of view is essential. Instead of an antagonistic view on different perceptions of reality, these different views are looked at as being complementary. This pleads for absence of hierarchy and stresses the need for cooperation between heterogeneous actors. Different perspectives, methods, approaches, meanings are to be combined to really grasp fruitful understanding of a complex world.

Boundary work

Since the last quarter of the twentieth century onwards, the development of knowledge has itself more and more become a subject of critical study. Knowledge is considered a social construction, and society itself seems to be partly the result of such a scientific construct. A strict division between science and society disappears. This causes problems for the standard view on science for policy: here also the strict division between science and society vanishes.

This does not mean that this division disappears in daily life. Both in language and institutionally, this division is made.(13) An interesting concept for the dynamic relation between science and policy is 'boundary work'.(14) Hoppe sees the ivory tower of science as one of the myths being unmasked by new insights on science and society: the division is a social division and a temporary division. The criteria for distinguishing are 'temporary and local outcomes from successful boundary work'. The attribution of specific features to a scientific institution is meant to construct a social border between scientific and non-scientific intellectual activities.(15)

Because of its exclusive claim on knowledge about reality, science has become an important instrument for legitimising policy.(16) As such, boundary work becomes political. Bal stresses that boundary work is both a discursive and an institutional process, and as such can be studied at both levels. Hisschemöller et al. sketch what they call the social-political construction of environmental problems.(17) Environmental problems have physical characteristics that are not unambiguous. Apart from physical characteristics they are also typified by the way actors judge these problems. This may concern the scale on which a problem is analysed, or the policy phase in which it is situated. The way knowledge on environmental problems is judged, is coloured by the way actors see each other. An actor with certain interests in the matter is seen differently than an independent expert.

Hoppe distinguishes three routes among which science may influence policy making.(18) A rather direct route is the one of data-supplier. Examples are the almost routine production of data by planning bureaus or research institutions that monitor the environment. A route with a smaller extent of direct influence is the supply of ideas. This route is less visible. Moreover it concerns a route along which scientific analysis is lost largely: only the ideas are taken up, not the premises and nuances. A third route is the supply of ammunition; here nuance is even less taken into account. The user simply takes what is suitable for his or her agenda.

Beautiful practice

A beautiful example of research on the development of policy relevant knowledge is a study concerning 100 years of Dutch Health Council.(19) The reason for this is not only an obvious link to the work of the Flemish Centre for Health and Environment. The way the study is designed is very inspiring. Contrary to Hisschemöller et al.(20) they do not choose a specific theoretical framework at the start of their research. They choose a radical actor perspective, which for example means they do not start from a preliminary division between science and non-science. Not the researcher speaks, but the actors. One of the outcomes of the study for example was that actors within the context of the Health Council could not be typified unequivocally, but should be seen as a hybrid mixture of science and non-science.

Next the concept of boundary work seemed to have limitations. First the structural aspects in the relation science - non-science are not taken into account sufficiently. Structural contextual aspects can have a limiting influence. Moreover it is not only a matter of boundary work, sometimes also bridges are built. Additionally boundaries may be opened for societal discourse. Furthermore it does not always concern a single boundary: the gap between, for example, government and science may be small, while at the same time the gap between science and the rest of society may be big. Bal et al. introduce the concept of coordination work. This relates to mixing and distinguishing different spheres. Thus boundaries can be drawn between science and non-science, but also hybrid forms may be developed where science and non-science cooperate. Fisher also uses the concept of coordination when describing the role of social scientists.(21) He speaks of the necessity of developing innovative methods for coordinating between different discursive processes and institutions.

Bal et al. do not have the ambition to identify or prescribe 'best practices'. They stress that general rules make no sense given the context dependency: the rules of the game are part of the process of construction. This does not exclude lessons from the research practice, but at the same time no instant recipes are to be expected.

3.2 Societal relevant knowledge development

Hisschemöller et al. and Hoppe(22) already pointed to the question of societal relevant knowledge in extension of the issue of policy relevant knowledge. How does scientific knowledge relate to society, how does policy relevant knowledge relate to society? A next question may be what knowledge is relevant? Is non-expert experience or lay experience relevant? When we assume that knowledge is socially constructed, one can ask whether it is wise or just to treat a large part of society as a blind spot.

Plead for the involvement of citizens and lay experience and information

Rotmans(23) evaluates integrated assessment models on complex societal problems as follows: 'there are enough molecules in our models, but almost no human beings'. He does not only mean data about human beings. It is important to involve the different perspectives, visions, for example by cooperation with a diversity of actors when building a model. One example is 'community based research', that is increasingly becoming popular in the USA. An example concerning environment and health is the work of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in the USA.(24) Main advantages of involving local communities in research according to NIEHS are the broadening of the knowledge base on complex problems and dealing with concern amongst the citizens on environmental and health problems.

Another advocate of the involvement of local knowledge is Fisher.(25) He sees three main goals for involving citizens in policy relevant research. Firstly, it is a way of implementing democracy. Secondly, it does support the legitimacy of development and implementation of policy. Thirdly, does it contribute to science: this new knowledge may be of added value. Fisher does not mean to refer to existing forms of deliberation with interest groups. The distance between representatives of these organisations and citizens is in many cases big.

A question brought forward many times when speaking about the involvement of non-experts, is whether they are capable of contributing in a constructive manner. According to Fisher it has been proven sufficiently in several experiments that there is no need for worries. For example Marris et al. prove in an extensive experiment that citizens are able to cope with a complex issue like biotechnology in agriculture.(26) Fisher advocates a change in attitude from the experts towards lay people. He proposes to accept the citizen as an expert, and to look at the professional expert as a specialized citizen.

Fisher stresses that this does not mean that scientific expertise is not important. Given the complexity of for example environmental problems, such knowledge is very important. Practical insights from citizens can be of great help to the scientists, who themselves have to cope with uncertainties and ignorance on complex issues. Fisher refers to Ulrich Beck who points at the societal dependence on the scientific method, which no longer provides us with satisfying answers to current problems. To achieve robust knowledge, involvement of societal groups is essential. Kissling-Näf et al. underline that the involvement of societal groups means that the research agenda will be influenced by society's needs for knowledge.(27)


4. Communication, interaction and reflection

4.1. Theoretical lessons

In which way is policy relevant knowledge developed in a context like the Flemish Centre for Health and Environment, and how does this knowledge relate to policy and society? What can be said about the meaning of knowledge that is developed? What are possible consequences of this knowledge? In a report attached to the 'Societal Policy Paper Environment and Health of the Flemish Parliament' it is stated that policy should be focussed on the most vulnerable groups of the population.(28) The Social Economic Council of Flanders among other supports this view. What does this mean for policy?

What are the main factors that influence the interaction between science - policy - society? The Flemish Centre for Health and Environment can be situated in a triangle Science - Policymakers - Society. This counts for actors with different background and different activities.

Of the different actors and activities two are present in the Centre for Health and Environment: policymakers and science, policy and scientific knowledge. Next to the interface science - policymakers within the Centre for Health and Environment, one can imagine an external interface with science and policymakers. The importance of involving societal actors for research and policy concerning complex problems related to environment and health opens the door for the interfaces science - society and policymakers - society. These interfaces can also be viewed as one interface: the Centre for Health and Environment - Society.

A main focus is reflection on the way development of policy relevant knowledge in dialogue between science and policy functions and may function. Within the context of the Centre for Health and Environment it is obvious that action research is suitable since the social scientists work closely together with other actors of the Centre. The latter are both partners and research subjects. Next to this, one of the main goals is to look for possibilities for cooperation with actors external to the Centre. First there is a need for a close look at what is really wanted from external participation. Over the last years internationally a lot of experiments have been undertaken that lacked this careful consideration of possible linkages to or influence on research or policy. Participation, openness and transparency thus remain too much on a 'Ten Commandments-level': easy to under scribe, difficult to really implement.

4.2. Research strategy

In 2003 we developed a strategy of different tracks at the same time in order to take into account the focus points mentioned above.(29) The main research questions are as follows. First the question of reflection: how to create reflection on the functioning of the Centre and the development of policy relevant knowledge in the Centre? Second the question on external interaction: what sorts of interaction can be useful and how must they be organized? Finally the question on the role of the social scientist: how can he or she contribute via action research? Although these only concern analytically differentiated tracks, this differentiation is important in order to reconcile theory and practice. The practice of the Centre can be thought of train on the move. This means for example that noble thoughts about involving societal actors in the early stages of the research, the phase of problem definition, are not attainable any more: the train is already underway. During the design of the work of the Centre already a lot of construction has been done.

Before implementing new approaches to communication on research and policy for the sake of openness and the involvement of societal actors, it is important first to think carefully, internally, backstage about what one hopes to achieve with the communication.(30) To keep both the doors and windows of the Centre closed for the outside world until the wise men and women of the Centre have made up their mind is unwise. The Centre is no longer anonymous. The Centre has been introduced in Flanders and does research in several regions. Questions rise as well as expectations that ask for answers. It would also contradict with the guidelines for external communication of the Centre.(31) To make a long story short: we have chosen for a combined strategy of communication, interaction and reflection.

4.3. Research practice

The several focus points are mirrored in the different research initiatives. A few of them are introduced.


As communication tools for a wider audience a digital magazine (the Biomonitor) and connected to this a website are developed. At first this concerns rather traditional forms of communication in the sense that only few interactive possibilities exist. The advantage nevertheless is that a form of communication is quickly started. In the longer run these tools can be transformed into more interactive tools. The strive for openness, transparency and interaction needs closer internal reflection in the Centre because of the inherent complexity. These potential interactive tools so to speak lie waiting after this reflection is crystallized into clear, specific goals.

In the framework of the Centre an educational tool is developed for secondary education. In due time an interactive use of the website becomes one of the possibilities. Schools may for example start to use the website for finding research information from the Centre or exchanging results of their own efforts with other schools.


In June 2003 the Research Centre on Technology, Energy & Environment (STEM) of the University of Antwerp(32) in cooperation with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Ispra, Italy), the universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht and the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) organized a workshop 'Uncertainty in science and policy on environmental and health risks'. In this workshop testing the so-called NUSAP methodology for discussing scientific uncertainties was central. The NUSAP method unravels the way scientific knowledge is constructed and the choices that are made during this process. The method was applied to a pilot study that was done before the starting up of the Centre for Health and Environment. This study looked among other things at the possible use of biomonitoring. Participants in the workshop were researchers of the Centre for Health and Environment that were also involved in the pilot study on the agenda, representatives of the Flemish administration, fellow researchers from Flanders and the Netherlands, and representatives of societal organisations like a citizens' group or industry. The workshop investigated how different scientific, societal actors and policymakers can exchange views on the development of policy relevant knowledge.

During the workshop one of the main obstacles for a transparent discussion between experts and non-experts on technically complex research was exactly this technical complexity. A non-toxicologist for example has little interest in discussing techniques that he or she does not know. On the other hand opening the research is relevant once it concerns issues that relate to choices with societal relevance or implications. If for example the choice for a certain method for measurement is of influence to the expected outcomes of the research, this has more societal relevance than if it only relates to the question of what is technically the most efficient method for generating likewise outcomes.

One of the central research activities concerns biomonitoring. In three campaigns with different target groups the health effects of environmental pollution are measured. This way early warnings can be spotted on which policymakers can act at an early stage. The biomonitoring investigates among other things blood and urine samples. The target groups are newborn babies, adolescents and adults.

In close consultation with the Group Biomonitoring of the Centre for Health and Environment we choose to make an inventory of all choices and kinds of choices being made during the course of the research process, and those to come. Also the considerations behind the choices as well as the alternative options that were considered during the process, as well as the pros and cons, possibilities and limitations, uncertainties etcetera will be listed. The Guidance for dealing with uncertainties (RIVM 2002) that is also partly based on the NUSAP-method can be a source of inspiration here. This logbook (BIOLOG) first will be used for internal reflection on transparency and interaction. Next this can be used as a form of information leaflet for communication about the research and for the starting up of interaction or cooperation with for example local actors. The challenge will be to discuss the societal relevant choices and interpretations made during the research process and the incorporation of local experience and knowledge in the research.

In 2004 experiments will be started to discuss the research constructively with local actors in some regions in Flanders. In a first project feedback and input will be asked on the development of questionnaires used in one of the biomonitoring campaigns and on strategies for the recruitment of participants in the research. In a second project discussions will be organized between representatives form the Centre, both from science and government, and local actors. The main goal is to discuss the different expectations different actors may have about the upcoming research results and the implications for embedment in policy practice and otherwise. The main goal will be to integrate the expectations several actors may have in the communication strategy once research results are ready and to use them as an input for follow up strategies.


Data from different existing data sources are to be made accessible from the viewpoint of environment and health. This concerns, among other things, data on diseases, like e.g. hospital data, and environmental data. The main aim is to map health problems and possible environmental causes. The data are analysed and put on geographical maps. New is that this is done cartographically at the municipal level. This means that for the first time areas can be compared in Flanders, e.g. on disease data.

The incorporation of local knowledge plays an important role for the epidemiological research. One of the main problems is that the data are not always unambiguous, comparable or reliable. An example is the registration of certain health complaints through the numbers of intake of patients in hospitals or medical examinations. These are not necessarily good indicators for comparing regions. It is necessary to look behind the figures in dialogue with for example local physicians. Such a cooperative approach also may prevent that local experts feel passed over, not involved or scrutinized. Moreover this will start up a dialogue that may be of use once research result must be translated in local policy. We can thus learn lessons about cooperation on research with external actors.

Genetic backcasting

To measure the health effects on human beings in biomonitoring, biomarkers are used. Two sorts are of importance here: markers for exposure and markers for effect. Exposure markers measure the amount of exposure to certain substances. Markers for effect measure the health consequences of these exposures. By means of genomic technology, research is done on possibilities for the development of new biomarkers. The impact of toxic substances on the genetic material in human beings is central here. The research aims at markers for effect and for genetic sensitivity to certain substances.

As an exercise regarding policy relevant research a workshop has been prepared on this genetic research. The workshop will be prepared on the basis of interviews with all scientific promoters as well as policymakers of the Centre. Questions are how policy relevant research is or may be developed. How was the research designed? What are important issues for reflection? Which actors are relevant for involvement? What is the main future purpose of the use of genetic screening for biomonitoring?

One of the possible methods for the workshop may be backcasting, although this mainly depends on the outcomes of the interviews. STEM recently used this method in regard to the future of the Belgian electricity production.(33) Backcasting contrasts to the more traditional forecasting approach. Backcasting does not predict the future, but looks for a route towards a desirable future: how can the future we envision as desirable, be realized by actions starting today. What are the opportunities and what are the barriers? It is a good approach for structuring discussion on complex issues.



Action research and the paradigm of transdisciplinarity offer inspiring approaches for the applied social scientific research activities within the Centre of Expertise for Health and Environment. The combination of transdisciplinary theory about complex realities and practical interactive research strategy hopefully will prove to be fruitful. How this will work out in practice only the actors involved can tell, even though none of them will be able to foretell this.

© Hans Keune (Flemish Centre of Expertise for Health and Environment, Antwerp, Belgium)


(1) I am very grateful to Josephine Papst for this clarification and her introduction to the paradigm of transdisciplinarity, such that this paper became developed as it is.

(2) See also Kurt Gruenewald; Politisches Handeln im Zeitalter des wissenschaftlichen Weltbildes in this volume and McCally 2002, Harremoës et al. 2002.

(3) Milieu- en Natuurraad van Vlaanderen 2001, Vlaams Parlement 2001.

(4) McCally 2002, Harremoës et al., 2002, Ravetz J., 2002, Vlaams Parlement 2001.

(5) Hoppe 2002, Bal et al. 2002.

(6) Hoppe 2002.

(7) Rotmans 1999.

(8) Bijker 1995.

(9) Bal 1998.

(10) Nicolescu 1996, Cicovacki 2003, Papst 2000, Papst 2003, Schrader 2003, Voss 2003.

(11) Schrader 2003.

(12) Kitcher 2001.

(13) Bal 1998.

(14) Gieryn 1983, Jasanoff 1990, Bal 1998, Hoppe 2002.

(15) Gieryn 1983.

(16) Bal 1998.

(17) Hisschemöller et al. 1998.

(18) Hoppe 2002.

(19) Bal et al. 2002.

(20) Hisschemöller et al. 1998.

(21) Fisher 2000.

(22) Hisschemöller et al. 1998 and Hoppe 2002.

(23) Rotmans 1999.

(24) O'Fallon and Dearry 2002.

(25) Fisher 2000.

(26) Marris et al. 2001.

(27) Kissling-Näf et al. 2002.

(28) Vlaams Parlement 2002.

(29) Keune et al. 2003.

(30) Bal et al. 2002.

(31) Goorden et al. 2002.

(32) Hans Keune works for STEM. STEM is part of the group of social scientists working within the Flemish Centre for Health and Environment.

(33) (Keune and Goorden 2002).


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1.6. The Unifying Method of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences: The Method of Transdisciplinarity

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For quotation purposes:
Hans Keune (Antwerp, Belgium): Transdisciplinarity and action research - Developing policy relevant knowledge. In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 15/2003. WWW:

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