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HomeInterdisciplinarity in the social sciences – Human ecology and the environmental sciences

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Published on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 by Lucie Choupaut

Summary

Journal Forum Sociológico has an open call for papers on the scope of a special issue that aims to analyse the interdisciplinary trends in human ecology and in the environmental sciences, where sociological and ecological knowledge is required and needs to be integrated.

Announcement

Guest editors

  • Prof. Dra. Iva Miranda Pires, NOVA University Lisbon, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Portugal.CICS.NOVA – Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, Portugal. CiênciaVitae: https://cienciavitae.pt/portal/5513-3046-E37E
  • Prof. Dr. Karl Bruckmeier, Visiting Professor at NOVA University Lisbon, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Portugal. Visiting Professor at South Bohemian University Ceske Budejovice, Faculty of Economics, Czechia. Visiting Senior Researcher at CICS.NOVA – Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, Portugal. CiênciaVitae: https://cienciavitae.pt/portal/4318-3068-32BB

Presentation

The Gulbenkian Commission had in its 1996 report “Opening the Social Sciences” discussed the present situation in the social sciences, but not given clear answers for their future development, as has been criticised in the sociological discourse (Wearne 1998 in “The American Sociologist”). What opening towards the future meant remained unclear: it was not a clear plea for an opening towards inter- and transdisciplinary knowledge creation and integration, that was already on the way at that time. Moreover, the report did not answer, how the social sciences can, after the two liberations from the church and the state in the course of modernisation, liberate from the third dependence that is dominant today, that from economic power, business and marketing control, as Wearne writes.

The thematic issue planned has the aim to assess and reflect the experience with the interdisciplinary opening of the social sciences since the Gulbenkian report, that happened in paradigmatic forms with the concepts of inter- and transdisciplinarity, describing new forms of knowledge production. Both terms include a variety of knowledge practices that show similarities. In this issue we want to collect articles that analyse the interdisciplinary trends in human ecology and the environmental sciences, where sociological and ecological knowledge is required and needs to be integrated. The oldest interdisciplinary subject in this sense, the core theme of the special issue, is human ecology; newer subjects originating from that in the course of the 20th century include cultural-, social-, and political ecology. Recent developments include sustainability science and transformation research, that show the connections to the interdisciplinary discourses about sustainable development in science and politics.

The new interdisciplinary knowledge practices were since the end of the 20th century intensively discussed in epistemological debates about “new knowledge production” (mode 2, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, post-normal science). Also the European Union has in its funding of research supported the interdisciplinary opening of social scientific research, as  the calls and reports from recent years show. The joint feature of the new approaches in interdisciplinary science is their distancing from the conventional forms of academic science and research based on disciplinary and sub-disciplinary specialisation (mode 1). Knowledge integration between disciplines and cooperation between scientists from different disciplines, practitioners and citizen are main features of the new approaches, that spread quickly in some fields, especially in environmental research, where the integration of social-and natural-scientific knowledge became necessary.

The importance of the new inter- and transdisciplinary approaches is justified with two arguments:

  • the limited perspectives of specialized academic research (mode 1), that does not deal adequately with such complex social and environmental problems as climate change, biodiversity loss, land use change, urbanisation, population growth and its management, exponential economic growth, globalisation and its social and environmental consequences, social inequality and the digital divide, or problems of sharing resources more fairly between countries, as discussed in the sustainability discourse;
  • specialized academic knowledge does not address sufficiently problems that come with the transfer and application of scientific knowledge in social practices of resource use and other fields of action.

In the issue should be included examples from the practice of interdisciplinary research (how is it done), and of the application of such research in resource use practices, policy and governance processes.

Submission guidelines

In this special issue will be accepted proposals written in Portuguese and English.

Full manuscripts of no more than 40,000 characters including spaces (abstract, footnotes/endnotes, figures, tables, and references included) should be sent by e-mail, in Word (.docx) format, to journal Forum Sociológico (forum@fcsh.unl.pt) with the title of the special issue in the subject field of the e-mail

no later than 28 February 2023.

Authors should follow the Guidelines for Authors (available here) and the Statement of Ethics and Good Practice of Forum Sociológico (available here).

More information here.

Subjects


Date(s)

  • Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Keywords

  • interdisciplinarity, human ecology, environmental sciences, sociology, ecological knowledge,

Contact(s)

  • Forum Sociológico
    courriel : forum [at] fcsh [dot] unl [dot] pt

Information source

  • Forum Sociológico
    courriel : forum [at] fcsh [dot] unl [dot] pt

To cite this announcement

« Interdisciplinarity in the social sciences – Human ecology and the environmental sciences », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, https://calenda.org/1043022

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