A trans-disciplinary approach is one of the ways we follow.
In our daily work we usually are faced by a concrete problem in a certain context that must be solved. To do that, we need scientific thinking and theoretical reflection. There is a type of scientific work that can be described as academic in the sense that it is “very learned but inexperienced in practical matters.... theoretical with no practical or useful bearing” (Penguin English Dictionary, 1985). Such academic work has an important role in developing new insights. It is promoted by a system where the production of a text (a thesis, an article or a book) that is approved by two other academics is the outcome that is rewarded. From time to time we also publish the results of our work in such texts. Usually, however, a different outcome is required in our daily work, namely an approach that produces a practical and workable solution to the given problem. To achieve that, our research team, which uses scientific methods and includes academics from different disciplines, and a number of residents from the community would put their heads together to come to a common understanding of the problem and of possible solutions, and then implement the most promising ones on a small scale and redesign and iterate them until we have one that works. The solution must comply with the insights of both the academic professor and the, perhaps illiterate, mother in the kitchen, the person who must continue to use it. This approach corresponds to some of the definitions of trans-disciplinary research, e.g. by Klein (2001): “The core idea of trans-disciplinarity is different academic disciplines working jointly with practitioners to solve a real-world problem”.
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