An interdisciplinary approach

This is an interdisciplinary dissertation that emerged in an interdisciplinary research environment with input from a range of different perspectives. In addition, my personal background features a mixture of perspectives, including undergraduate training in biology and science journalism, professional experience as a science journalist, and a PhD education focusing of social science theory and methods. There are some weaknesses to such an interdisciplinary approach. For one, it is impossible to cover all literature equally well and to be equally well versed in all aspects of methodology. Some opportunities may be lost because there was not sufficient time to learn enough about some relevant aspects, be they methodological or theoretical. There is also a risk of trying to span too broad a field, making the study less relevant to each particular academic audience. Personally I think that the advantages outweigh these risks. They include the possibility to contribute to bridging of the gap between social sciences and natural sciences. Moreover, the science-policy interface that this dissertation explores is not itself structured along academic disciplinary boundaries. Rather, the frequent references to concepts such as sustainable development attest to the need to integrate many different concerns, where the biogeophysical aspect of the environment only captures one part of the concern as do studies focusing solely on social or cultural systems. Lastly, I believe that interdisciplinary approaches can provide quality controls that go beyond common scientific quality-control procedures because even basic assumptions are constantly evaluated and open for critique.

37 A search for the term regime in Google Scholar actually gives more hits in the natural science context. Just to mention one example that is relevant for the Arctic, the concept "regime shift" is used in the title of an article on large-scale shifts in climatic and oceanic conditions in the Bering Sea and how this affects the mix and abundance of coexisting species: Ashleen J. Benson and Andrew W. Trites, "Ecological Effects of a Regime Shift in the Bering Sea and Eastern North Pacific Ocean," Fish and Fisheries 3, no. 2 (2002): 95.

II. Context

0 0

Post a comment