Skip to main content
National Cancer Institute

Implications of Transdisciplinarity for Sustainability Research

Edit resource

Hirsch Hadorn G, Bradley D, Pohl C, Rist S, Wiesmann U. Implications of Transdisciplinarity for Sustainability Research. Ecological Economics. 2006 Nov;60(1):119-128.

In ecological economics the terms sustainable development and transdisciplinarity are closely related. It is shown that this close relation is due to the fact that research for sustainable development has to be issue oriented and reflect the diversity, complexity and dynamics of the processes involved as well as their variability between specific problem situations. Furthermore, the knowledge of people involved and their needs and interests at stake have to be taken into account. There are three basic and interrelated questions about issues to be addressed in sustainability research: (1) In which way do processes constitute a problem field and where are the needs for change? (2) What are more sustainable practices? (3) How can existing practices be transformed? To treat them properly, transdisciplinary research is needed. The emergence of transdisciplinary research in the North and the South is described. By distinguishing analytically among basic, applied and transdisciplinary research the challenges that have to be tackled in transdisciplinary projects are analyzed.

Online at:



Type of Publication:

Journal article


transdisciplinary research, basic research, applied research, sustainability, ecological economics

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Learn about the field of team science: history, theory and concepts
  • Establish or maintain effective team science endeavors
  • Enhance team performance, interactions, and attitudes
  • Conduct research on/evaluate team science

Comments (0 comments)

Add Comments
Resource created by Elizabeth Manzella on 7/29/2014 3:50:02 PM.

Narrow your search by
resource type or goal:

Advanced Search



Email this page