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Disciplinary Convergence in Scientific Collaboration: Using storytelling as a research integration mechanism

Format: Papers, RSD11, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Learning & Education, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Cornelis Willem Klok and Younjung Choi

The University of Twente | Eindhoven University of Technology

Cross-disciplinary research is crucial for tackling ‘wicked’ problems like sustainability transitions. Nevertheless, scientific collaboration is often hampered by disciplinary divergence in communication. Storytelling has facilitated bonding and knowledge transfer among humans throughout history. We argue that storytelling and storytelling techniques can facilitate scientific collaboration as a common language vehicle. Well-designed research stories transcend highly specialized disciplinary vocabularies and are accessible to audiences from any background. Combining storytelling elements such as character and plot, we explore the further potential of storytelling as disciplinary convergence mechanism.

In this research presentation, we investigate the application of storytelling methods to the disciplinary convergence of researchers involved in a Dutch project through three workshops. This paper presents 1) a brief review of storytelling applications in cross-disciplinary research, 2) our approach to deploying storytelling methods for disciplinary convergence, and 3) the results of its application. Workshop participants indicated that employing storytelling techniques helped them recognize their target audiences and enhanced their understanding of each other’s research projects.

KEYWORDS: cross-disciplinary research, collaborative research, disciplinary convergence, storytelling, sustainability transitions, energy and mobility transitions




Citation Data

Author(s): Cornelis Willem Klok and Younjung Choi
Year: 2022
Title: Disciplinary Convergence in Scientific Collaboration: Using storytelling as a research integration mechanism
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 113
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 23 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404