Next Events:
London Workshop- Strategic road map on how universities might engage with wider public on urban issues  9th January, 2018 |  Barcelona Training School 9-13 April, 2018

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Intrepid News

2nd Round Of INTREPID Short Term Scientific Missions

2nd Round of INTREPID Short Term Scientific Missions

Are you interested in the Future of the Universities (FoU) with a particular focus on…

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Universities And Knowledge For Sustainable Urban Futures: As If Inter And Trans-disciplinarity Mattered

Universities and Knowledge for Sustainable Urban Futures: as if inter and trans-disciplinarity mattered

The 4th Action Workshop  took place in London, 24th March 2017 This London Workshop was…

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Transformative Knowledge For An Era Of Planetary Urbanization? Questioning The Role Of Social Sciences And Humanities From An Interdisciplinary Perspective
Barcelona Training School On Inter And Transdisciplinary Urban Research

Barcelona Training School on inter and transdisciplinary urban research

1st Intrepid Training School took place in Barcelona from 13-16 February 2017. The Training School provided methodological foundations…

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Access Intrepid Newsletters To Keep You Updated About What Is Going On In Intrepid COST Action

Access Intrepid newsletters to keep you updated about what is going on in Intrepid COST Action

 The newsletters contain information about events, training schools, tools, publications, research and more.

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Let’s Co-create A Visual Library On  Inter/transdisciplinarity!

Let’s co-create a visual library on inter/transdisciplinarity!

Intrepid COST Action is looking for photos that represent interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. Thanks for…

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How transdisciplinary projects influence participants’ ways of thinking: a case study on future landscape development

Our COST INTREPID project “Exploring stakeholders’ perspectives to improve transdisciplinary projects in urban development” has  published its first paper:

Tobias, S., Ströbele, M.F. & Buser, T. (2018): How transdisciplinary projects influence participants’ ways of thinking: a case study on future landscape development.  Sustainability Science.


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Grant info: MSCA-ITN-2019: Innovative Training Networks- The European Training Networks (ETN) sub-programm

ETN is a PhD funding scheme that aims to train highly-skilled researchers and stimulate entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation in Europe. ETN provides funding for a network of PhD awarding institutions where each is recruiting PhDs which are also trained through secondment in other institutes in the networks.
Although not a formal eligibility requirement, it is expected that beneficiaries will be drawn from different sectors and that ETN proposals will offer intersectoral and interdisciplinary research training as well as high-quality supervision arrangements.

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Call for Papers: Symposium Arquitectonics Mind, Land and Society 2018

Looking for the human condition of arquitectural and urban design research procedures and theories, BARCELONA MAY 29-30-31, JUNE 1, 2018

Deadline for submitting abstracts 15th December, 2017

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Three tasks for transdisciplinary bridge builders

Community member post by Roderick J. Lawrence

Human groups and societies have built many kinds of bridges for centuries. Since the 19th century, engineers have designed complex physical structures that were intended to serve one or more purposes in precise situations. In essence, the construction of a bridge is meant to join two places together. What may appear as a mundane functional structure is built only after numerous decisions have been made about its appearance, cost, functions, location and structure. Will a bridge serve only as a link and passage, or will it serve other functions?

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COST multidisciplinary European research networks are key to FP9

The COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) published its position paper, highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary, bottom-up, open and inclusive networks, pleading for sufficient funding post Horizon 2020.

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Multipotentialities & specialists: This is a different take on multi no interdiiplinarity and innovation

Emilie Wapnick: Why some of us don’t have one true calling

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“The real point is who owns the future, the purpose, the reason why something is done”

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The value of co-design /co-production as a methodology for promoting sustainable and just cities

By David Simon

“There are diverse approaches to transdisciplinary co-production/co-design/co-creation, which all share the key features of deep and extended participation.”

(Article based on the INTREPID Winter School training session on 16th Feb 2017)

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International Conference on Sustainable Cities, Communities and Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

5-7 October 2017 | Putrajaya, Malaysia

This Conference will focus on the issues and opportunities that can be found in cities, taking note of the fact that by addressing and capitalising on opportunities in developing sustainable cities will invariably address many SDGs goals to ensure sustainable development.

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The XXII International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology (SHE): Envisioning Pathways to Just and Sustainable Futures: Celebrating diversity, pursuing integration, and developing livable communities

November 28 – December 1 2017

University of the Philippines Los Baños, Philippines

This is the first call for papers for SHE XXII. This conference is meant to be as broadly interdisciplinary as possible – bridging science, social science, and policy perspectives – with literature, humanities and creative arts.

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Energy Research & Social Science

Special Section on Enhancing the policy impact of energy research  was published in the April 2017 (Vol 26) of Energy Research & Social Science.  It should be relevant for those of us concerned not only with advancing research for climate and energy sustainability, but also those trying to manage or promote interdisciplinary research, or design academic research for maximum policy (and social) impact.

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Transformations 2017: Transformations in Practice

30th August – 1st September 2017,  University of Dundee – Scotland

Transformations 2017 is the third in a biennial series of international interdisciplinary conferences that focuses on transformations towards sustainability: addressing contemporary challenges and creating conditions for enhancing people’s wellbeing, today and in the future, while strengthening the Earth’s support system.

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Summer School: Concepts and tools to engage in knowledge co-production and public participation

19th – 23st June 2017 | ISEG – Lisbon, Portugal

Registration deadline: June 12th

All those interested in developing and improving skills and knowledge of participatory methods to engage in knowledge co-production and public participation are encouraged to participate. 

Trainers: Mathieu Dionnet – Lisode, Montpellier (France), Marta Varanda and Sofia Bento – ISEG-University of Lisbon (Portugal), Barron Joseph Orr – University of Arizona (USA) and University of Alicante (Spain)

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Open Panel On “Experiments In Collaboration”

Open panel on “Experiments in Collaboration”

Felicity Callard was a keynote speaker at our Conference in January,  and she is now co-organising an exciting open panel on “Experiments in Collaboration”.

Experiments in collaboration: rethinking the human sciences in (or for?) an interdisciplinary age (CfP, Science in Public, Sheffield, 10–12 July 2017)

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International Transdisciplinarity Conference in 2017

The International Transdisciplinarity Conference in 2017 is co-organised by Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany and the Network for Transdisciplinary Research (td-net) of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

The overall objective of the conference is to strengthen communities of transdisciplinary research and education, and to create visibility for theoretical, empirical and transformative advances/results. The focus of the conference is on interculturality. Participants will explore transdisciplinary research and education as intercultural endeavours concerning epistemologies, world-views, practices, and place-based differences.

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Is social science useful?

Author: Andy Inch

“Though the traditional model of academic publishing and extractive research still dominate, there are arguably signs that it is breaking down. Albeit often in limited ways, opportunities to publish differently or to collaborate in new ways do seem to be opening up. These create new tensions that we have to navigate without losing our vital critical faculties, or the ability to explore alternatives. But if we accept that prevailing models of social science are not well equipped to make a difference then we should welcome any opportunity to reimagine the role and purpose of social research”.

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Pro-active learning to improve interdisciplinary processes

by Laura R. Meagher

All of us involved in the challenging (but rewarding) processes of interdisciplinarity, knowledge exchange and/or impact generation can be helped by deconstructing processes, timeframes and roles in real-time in order to progress toward effective collaborations and/or a full range of impacts. Early framing of expectations and identification of what would be telling ‘indicators’ of progress will inform necessary mid-course corrections.

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Interdisciplinarity in action: philosophy of science perspectives

by Uskali Mäki and Miles MacLeod

The present collection of studies aspires to promote this line of philosophical inquiry in terms of case studies on various aspects of interdisciplinarity in science, and to bring philosophical concepts and principles to bear in its analysis. While much current philosophical work has focused on the possibility of conceptual and methodological unification and integration amongst specific fields, we aim to widen the scope of philosophical treatment of this issue by mapping out the broader landscape of philosophical issues that emerge from interdisciplinary interactions, and by identifying the points where philosophical analysis can make important and relevant contributions. The guiding observations and principles in this endeavour include the following.

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Twelfth International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Call for Papers

The Twelfth International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, held 26–28 July 2017, at the International Conference Center in Hiroshima, Japan call for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, colloquia, virtual posters, or virtual lightning talks. The conference features research addressing the annual themes and the 2017 Special Focus: “Cross-Cultural and Global Research as Interdisciplinary Practice.”

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LERU’s Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020


This paper is LERU’s contribution to the Horizon 2020 Interim Evaluation. It is structured according to what is expected to be the structure of the Terms of Reference for the Interim Evaluation. The paper focuses very much on Horizon 2020 itself. LERU will publish a paper on the future, the next framework programme for research and innovation, in the first quarter of 2017

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Interdisciplinarity: how universities unlock its power to innovate, League of European Research Universities (LERU)

By Wernli, D. and Darbellay, F. (2016)
Modern universities were invented in Europe in the 18th century with an emphasis on research, the provision of high level education to each student, the unity between research and teaching, equality in status for each discipline, and academic freedom. This system led to remarkable scientific, technical, cultural, and societal progress.
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Call for Papers for the Twelfth International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, held 26–28 July 2017 at the International Conference Center in Hiroshima, Japan.

Founded in 2006, the conference examines the nature of disciplinary practices in the study of society and the interdisciplinary practices that arise in the context of “real world” applications of social research and theory. The conference also investigates what constitutes “science” in a social context and the connections between the social and other sciences. The focus of papers ranges from the finely grained and empirical (research practices and results exemplifying one or more disciplines) to wide-ranging multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives on knowledge and method.

We invite proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, colloquia, virtual posters, or virtual lightning talks. The conference features research addressing the annual themes and the 2017 Special Focus: “Cross-Cultural and Global Research as Interdisciplinary Practice.”

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The Future of Urban Network Research, September 18 - 20, 2017 at Ghent University (Belgium)

References to ‘urban networks’ in academic books and articles have grown dramatically since the 1950s, and research on the topic of urban networks now extends across many social and natural science disciplines (e.g. geography, sociology, engineering, physics) and over many scales of analysis from the local formation of social networks among neighbours in cities, to the regional formation of inter-city transportation networks, to the global formation of transnational urban-economic networks. This rapid growth in the size, scope, and scale of urban network research has left the area invigorated, but without a clear agenda for future work.
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Trust & Time: two imperatives of research efforts

An interesting reflection on trust & time in science – two themes that came out repeatedly at our Tallinn Meeting 

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Transdisciplinarity is key to sustainable urban futures: David Simon and Susan Parnell

Both members of INTREPID’s International Advisory Board are co-authors in McPhearson et al (2016) Scientists must have a say in the future of cities, Nature, 538, 165-6

“Support transdisciplinary research and synthesis. Communities with relevant knowledge must guide urban-development policy over the short and long term. Transdisciplinary research must be supported through new sources of urban science funding and organizations. Existing knowledge should be synthesized and fed into policymaking at all levels.”

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Sheila Jasanoff: Framing Research With Citizens’ Perspectives

Sheila Jasanoff: Framing Research with Citizens' Perspectives

Research without society’s input lacks balance

Sheila Jasanoff is director of the program on science, technology and society at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She is one of the world-expert on dissecting what’s in the mind of scientists when they take decisions about their research.

She often likes to strike a discordant note when speaking with scientists. As she did at ESOF2016 in Manchester, UK, where Euroscientist met her in July. In this interview, she warns that regulatory bodies alone cannot take decisions on thorny issues, such how to regulate gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9, without involving society at large. She believes consulting citizens is a priority, even before framing the scientific problem.

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How Far Can Scholarly Networks Go? Examining the Relationships Between Distance, Disciplines, Motivations, and Clusters

By: Guang Ying Mo, Zack Hayat and Barry Wellman

This study aims to understand the extent to which scholarly networks are connected both in person and through information and communication technologies, and in particular, how distance, disciplines, and motivations for participating in these networks interplay with the clusters they form. The focal point for our analysis is the Graphics, Animation and New Media Network of Centres of Excellence (GRAND NCE), a Canadian scholarly network in which scholars collaborate across disciplinary, institutional, and geographical boundaries in one or multiple projects with the aid of information and communication technologies.

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Is interdisciplinarity '‘a term that everyone invokes and none understands’?

Certainly it seems that the discourse of the interdisciplinary is everywhere. Universities are busy promoting collaborative frameworks, breaking down subject barriers; research councils invite bids for funding on wide-ranging ‘themes’;  and everywhere there are ‘synergies’, ‘hubs’, and ‘centres’. Schools and departments are merged; individuals are physically relocated to work in close proximity with those from other disciplines. Horizontal networks abound. Discursively at least, the days of the disciplinary silo seem dead.

But definitions of interdisciplinarity are less easy to agree on.

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Disconnected, fragmented, or united? a trans-disciplinary review of network science

Applied Network Science 2016

By Cesar Hidalgo

During decades the study of networks has been divided between the efforts of social scientists and natural scientists, two groups of scholars who often do not see eye to eye. In this review I present an effort to mutually translate the work conducted by scholars from both of these academic fronts hoping to continue to unify what has become a diverging body of literature. I argue that social and natural scientists fail to see eye to eye because they have diverging academic goals. Social scientists focus on explaining how context specific social and economic mechanisms drive the structure of networks and on how networks shape social and economic outcomes.

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Big data meets small data

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Framing interdisciplinarity how (not) to collaborate across the science

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The use of academic research in planning practice: who, what, where, when and how?

By: Dominic Stead

The use of academic evidence in policymaking is certainly not a new issue – it has been a subject of enquiry for at least several decades. More recent is a trend of greater involvement of policy users in academic research, often based on underlying ideas that this will raise the quality of research, increase the influence of research on policymaking and/or improve the effectiveness of policymaking. Indeed, involving policy users in academic research to promote the co-creation of knowledge is an increasingly encountered requirement of research funding agencies across the world. This requirement not only places new demands and expectations on academics and policymaking professionals in the research process, it also adds to the importance of understanding the utilisation of academic research in practice.


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A new report by Lord Stern raises criticisms about the treatment of interdisciplinarity by the UK system of research evaluation (RAE)

‘The disciplinary “silos” embedded in the Unit of Assessment panel’ have meant that interdisciplinary research is often ‘regarded less favourably than mono-disciplinary research’, Stern says.

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Descobrimentos da Ciência da Informação: desafios da Multi, Inter e Transdisciplinaridade (MIT)

XVII Encontro Nacional de Pesquisa em Pós-Graduação em Ciência da Informação

Universidade Federal da Bahia

novembro 20, 2016 – novembro 25, 2016

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Interdisciplinary Science: A Coming of Age?

By: Roderick J. Lawrence

The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine

Large global challenges, such as climate change, require a comprehensive approach, part of which should be interdisciplinary research.

Interdisciplinarity is a word à la mode, as shown by the contributions in Nature‘s special issue on the topic (September 2015). However, the collection of articles and the statistics they present confirm that interdisciplinary science is still not mainstream: it is still rarely supported by funders of scientific research despite the increasing number of calls for interdisciplinary projects, it is still rarely taught in higher education curricula, and it is still not recognized by many academic institutions. Indeed interdisciplinary research is considered by many to be contradictory to the basic principles of the production of scientific knowledge.

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Imagine shaping your future

Author: Olivia Bina

An inquiry into how art and science can at times disagree about our future, and why it matters

Science and research agendas are an exercise in future thinking. They help to shape futures by planning to create the knowledge that will bring about desired change and transformation. For this reason, research policy, matters.

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Interdisciplinary research has consistently lower funding success

Nature, June 2016

By Lindell Bromham, Russell Dinnage & Xia Hua

Interdisciplinary research is widely considered a hothouse for innovation, and the only plausible approach to complex problems such as climate change. One barrier to interdisciplinary research is the widespread perception that interdisciplinary projects are less likely to be funded than those with a narrower focus.

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Innovative Approaches to Interdisciplinarity in Planning Education - Building Capacity to Respond to Interconnected Contemporary Planning Challenges


Teaching in the broad field of planning is one of the main activities of AESOP Member Schools. Thus, in 2002, AESOP introduced a prize (http://www.aesop which recognizes and encourages Excellence in Teaching. Through this award, AESOP celebrates and disseminates innovative practices in teaching in its Member Schools.

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Urban Futures: Leading Interdisciplinary Efforts in Urban Sustainability

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Joint Call of the JPI Urban Europe, supported by the European Commission

JPI Urban Europe’s fourth call – the ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures (ENSUF) – supported by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, is open as of December 16.

Three call topics are defined:

  • Concepts and strategies for smart urban transformation, growth and shrinkage
  • New dynamics of public services
  • Inclusive, vibrant and accessible urban communities

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COST Actions are considered "highly interdiscplinary"

The first 40 Actions funded under the COST Association show a highly interdisciplinary nature, with almost half of the Actions being related to two or three main OECD fields of Science and Technology.

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Nature’s  Special Issue On Interdisciplinarity

Nature's special issue on Interdisciplinarity

Nature’s special issue probes how scientists and social scientists are coming together to solve the grand challenges of energy, food, water, climate and health. This special scrutinizes the data on interdisciplinary work and looks at its history, meaning and funding.

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