- Project Leader : Ubukata Fumikazu (Okayama University, Grad. Sch. of Environmental and Life Science)
- Collaborators : Kimura Shuuhei (Tsukuba University, Fac. of Humanities and Social Sciences)
- : Watanabe Kazuo (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Research Department)
- : Sato Shiro (Osaka International University, Faculty of International Communication)
- : Kono Yasuyuki (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
- : Sato Takahiro (International Rice Research Institute, Crop and Environmental Science Division)
- : Lambino, John XXV Paragas (Kyoto University, Graduate School of Economics)
Outline of Research
This research examines how researchers confront, struggle and overcome difficulties during the process of interdisciplinary research projects which aim at collaboration between the natural and social sciences. As a case study, we chose our experience of the Global-COE program “In Search of Sustainable Humanosphere in Asia and Africa” which was ran between 2007-2012. Through project documentation and interviews, we will try to analyze what happened during the formation of “integrated knowledge” in the project. This is a meta study attempt which seeks for possibilities and conditions of inter-disciplinary research collaborations, as well as explores methodologies which can compare different interdisciplinary research projects.
Reflecting the emergences of multifaceted problems worldwide, such as human security, environment, natural disaster and STS (science, technology and society), there are currently a lot of collaborative research projects which aim for “inter-disciplinarity” or “collaboration” between the natural and social sciences. Most of their actual collaborations, however, have not yet been academically examined. This research therefore tries to examine how researchers from different backgrounds confront, struggle and overcome the difficulties during the process of interdisciplinary research projects which work between both the natural and social sciences.
As a case study, we chose the experience of the Global-COE program “In Search of Sustainable Humanosphere in Asia and Africa” conducted during 2007-2012. This project is regarded as a unique collaborative research project which included a wide range of natural and social sciences such as history, anthropology, economics, agronomy, geography, political science, ecology and engineering.
All the members in this research actively engaged in the previous project, and will allow us to share the experiences. Through detailed project documentation and interviews, we will analyze what happened during the formations of “integrated knowledge” in the project. Here we assume the dynamic process that 1) sociopolitical and scientific framing, and 2) configurations of different backgrounds and “cultures” of the participants and 3) organization structures and participants’ commitment of the project affected the overall process of knowledge integration.
This is a meta study attempt which seeks for possibilities and conditions of inter-disciplinary research collaborations, as well as exploring methodologies to compare different interdisciplinary research projects. Finally, we expect the following results from this research.
1)An understanding of the possibilities and constraints of collaborative research between natural and social sciences as well as ways to evaluate their production and function.
2)An understanding of the conditions for research collaborations and the methods for comparing different interdisciplinary research projects.
Free discussion in a research symposium
Field trip as an arena for on-site discussions (Sumatra, Indonesia)