9-1: TRANSDISCIPLINARY CONCEPTS

The work of the LOEWE-Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) stands in many respects at the interface between science and society. For the consequences of climate change and loss of biological diversity are not only a matter of concern for scientists but also for policy makers, environmental organisations, business people and every one of us. The Centre’s research, then, has to satisfy not only the quality standards of science but also societal expectations. With respect to the latter, the analysis of the social-ecological and socio-economic effects of altered conditions brought about by climate change, in particular regarding the availability and usability of resources, is of great importance.
The goal of Project Group F.1 is, therefore, to create and maintain the transdisciplinary foundations for the Centre’s work. Transdisciplinarity is stressed because furthering scientific progress and excellence and finding solutions to practical problems must both be seen as central to the process of research at the Centre. Such an interface between science and society thrives on a constant exchange among various factors and actors: What is on the minds of policy makers, non-governmental organisations and private companies? How can their needs and viewpoints be included in the research process? How can natural science research be integrated into social science research?
These questions form the core of the scientific work within Project Group F.1 and support the strategic orientation of BIK-F. The Centre as a whole, as well as its project groups and individual projects, is supported by the designated tasks of this project group: independent analyses, development of methods and concepts, and the provision of platforms for exchange and mutual learning. So far reflexions on methods for knowledge transfer have been elaborated, a method for problem-oriented discourse field analysis has been developed and successfully tested as well as internal knowledge structures have been strengthened. The research concept for the analysis of climate-induced biodiversity changes in provisioning systems has been prepared, which will serve as basis for projects in PBF with a more transdisciplinary focus. An important cross-cutting issue in F.0, affecting the whole Centre, is the concept of “Ecosystem Services” (ESS). Possibilities and limitations of the concept for connecting the different project areas on this topic have been tested.

 

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