Disciplinary Convergence in Scientific Collaboration: Using storytelling as a research integration mechanism -135


Cornelis Willem Klok and Younjung Choi

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 specialised 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.

We investigate the application of storytelling methods to the disciplinary convergence of researchers involved in a Dutch research project through a number of 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) intermediary results of its application. Workshop participants indicated that employing storytelling techniques helped them recognize their target audiences and understand each other’s research projects better. The final workshop will further evaluate the collaborative potential of storytelling by focusing on defining and unitizing individual story elements. Our presentation at the RSD 11 symposium will cover the final results, reflections on the use of storytelling for cross-disciplinary collaboration, and follow-up research plans. We contribute to the research of cross-disciplinary collaboration by evaluating the use of storytelling as an instrument for project managers and researchers in cross-disciplinary teams.

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

Pre-proceedings drafts are available for RSD11 participants to review. The corresponding paper number is at the end of the title. The papers have been peer-reviewed, and the authors have made revisions. Following RSD11, authors will have a final period to revise their work from the feedback received at RSD before the proceedings are formally published.

Posted September 2022

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Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium. rsdsymposium.org/LINK.