The Transdisciplinary World of Futures

Transdisciplinary Map

This is a very interesting image developed by a team of researchers and included in an article that came out in 2009 in PLoS ONE 4(3) on high res maps of science. They describe how they trawled the interenet for searches (click stream data) and were able to see how much interdisciplinary work was going on. Lots as this map makes clear.

Inter disciplinarity – transdisciplinarity, multi-disciiplinarity – are essential for effective foresight work which relies on a mix of quantitative and qualitative research to develop robust and plausible images of our complex and mulitlayered futures.

The tendency of people is to want an ordered universe in which uncertainty is kept at a minimum. The reality is that uncertainty is all around us and that it is managed more by habit and custom (lenses that edit perception) than by intention and the systems we create to buffer us. I like this map as it shows the complex nature of knowledge interactions. I also like that it is elegant and inviting. Good futures work and the social changes it is inviting in work best when served with a good dose of attractiveness:)

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