Philosophy and Methodology of Interdisciplinary Research for Sustainability

9 June 2011, 2.00 PM - 9 June 2011, 2.00 PM

2-5.30pm June 9th 2011, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol

This Work in Progress seminar will explore the potential for developing a research focus on meta-questions of Interdisciplinary Research – with a focus on sustainability. Many important new centres, initiatives and funding calls are focused on interdisciplinary research for sustainability broadly conceived to include environment, society, economy & culture (for example UN agencies). These initiatives raise problems of interdisciplinarity in particularly acute form and many research leaders, participants and related PhD candidates are confronting these issues with varying degrees of success.

In this seminar we propose to:

  • provide an illustration of the overall academic content and purposes of this developing research area
  • begin to set the agenda for future scholarly activity, research collaborations and proposals

This seminar should be of interest to all those involved in research on/for sustainability and the developing meta-research questions around interdisciplinary research in general. The format will be short presentations followed by discussion with time for networking.


  • 2.00 Welcome from Professor Alexander Bird – Department of Philosophy
  • 2.10 Challenges of Interdisciplinary Research for Sustainability: Professor Paul Bates, Director of the Cabot Centre, University of Bristol
  • 2.40 Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Research – issues arising in IAS events: Professor Gregor McLennan, Director of Institute for Advanced Studies
  • 3.10 Report from the QUEST (major NERC funded Earth System Climate Science) IDR project: Dr Sarah Cornell/Edinburgh colleagues
  • 3.40 TEA
  • 4.00 Assistant Professor Johannes Persson, LUCID – Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability
  • 4.30 A developing international meta-research area? report from American ‘Toolbox’ conference (American Science Association & American Philosophical Association): Dr Jenneth Parker
  • 5.00 Discussion of issues raised and news of other linked initiatives
  • 5.30 Close/networking over drinks

The seminar is free of charge: email Haris Shekeris to book a place.  

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