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Connective knowledge: what we need to know about other fields to ‘envision’ cross-disciplinary collaboration

Priaulx, Nicolette and Weinel, Martin 2018. Connective knowledge: what we need to know about other fields to ‘envision’ cross-disciplinary collaboration. European Journal of Futures Research 6 , 21.

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Abstract

This paper centralises the question of what academics in higher education settings need to know about other fields to stimulate cross-disciplinary collaborative work. The concept of ‘knowledge’, while recognised as important within cross-disciplinary studies, has failed to be properly problematized. Little attention has been paid to what cross-disciplinary knowledge actors should possess, the purposes that knowledge might serve, and few pause to consider the concept of collaboration itself, as an inherent source of situated learning. The result is recommendations about what researchers should ‘know’ that cannot be operationalised in practice. Highlighting a distinction between ‘Of-Knowledge’, entailing detailed understanding of a field, and ‘About-Knowledge’, a rudimentary form of knowledge about fields, we explore two key points of the cross-disciplinary collaborative life-cycle to evaluate the needs, purposes, limits and possibilities of knowing. Noting that cross-disciplinary learning is a long process, and for which no pre-packaged ‘knowledge’ emerges to address the kinds of cognitive deficits that researchers typically identify, we argue that collaboration itself provides a non-substitutable venue for cross-disciplinary learning. In contrast, focusing on the point of ‘envisioning’ where specialisms are ‘scoped out’ and collaborative horizons ‘mapped’, we argue for efforts to be placed in enhancing researchers’ ‘About-Knowledge’, a form of connective knowledge that extends researchers’ basic knowledge about other fields prior to constructing collaborative projects. Critical for the aspirations of futures research, and the importance of fostering global, national, regional and local collaboration, we highlight how a little knowledge can go a long way.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Centre for the Study of Knowledge Expertise and Science (KES)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 2195-4194
Funders: British Academy
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 November 2018
Date of Acceptance: 12 November 2018
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2019 16:01
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/116781

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