Interdisciplinarity in environmental research

Interdisciplinarity in environmental research

This course of 3 credits is given as part of the Environmental Science Graduate Studies at CEC Lund University and the research school ClimBEco. CEC and ClimBEco PhD students are given priority. Priority is also given to students at the Climate Research School of the Bolin Centre for Climate Research at Stockholm University.

Course director: Ullrika Sahlin,

Course assistant: Jasmine Livingston,

Course syllabus NMV001F Link to pdf

The course consists of three blocks:

  • Reading period
  • Lectures and interactive seminar (Nov 16-18 2020) - link to schedule
  • Individual paper

Examination: Active participation at the seminar and an approved individual paper/report of self-reflection.

Grades: Pass or Fail

Format: Due to the COVID pandemic, the course will be fully online on zoom fall 2020.

Reading period (before Nov 16th) - link to module

Aims to provide understanding of philosophy of their science and other sciences to make way for working in interdisciplinary projects.

The following literature shall have been read before the start of lectures and the interactive seminar on Nov 16th – 18th

  • Öberg, Gunilla. 2011. Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies - a Primer. Wiley-Blackwell. Available as e-book at Lund University Library. All students in environmental science should have gotten a copy of this book.
  • Chalmers, Alan F. What is this Thing Called Science? Buckingham: Open University Press 1999. Available at Lund University Library.
  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. Oxford University Press 2016. Edited by Paul Humphreys. Available as e-book at Lund university library. This is an anthology. We recommend you read three chapters, e.g.
    • Fraser and Sterelny - "Philosophy of Biology"
    • Bueno – "Epistemology and Philosophy of Science"
    • Hansson – "Science and Non-Science".
  • Philosophy of Social Science : A New Introduction. First Edition. Oxford University Press, 2014. Edited by Cartwright and Montuschi. Available as e-book at Lund University Library (download the chapters you want (max 100 pages), the license is for max 3 users at a time, so be patient). Link to book This is an anthology. We recommend you read three chapters, e.g.
    • Douglas - "Values in Social Science"
    • Parker - "Climate Change"
    • Solomon - "Social Epistemology in practice"

Lectures in Philosophy of Science (Nov 16-17) - link to module

Aims to challenge the students in thinking about philosophy of science from different perspectives.

Introduction to Environmental Science - Henrik Thorén, Philosophy, Lund University. 16 nov 10.15 - 11.00

If we are (more or less) rational, why are we in this mess?: An introduction to philosophy of economics - Michiru Nagatsu, Practical Philosophy, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki. 16 Nov 14.00 - 14.45 (part I) and 17 nov 15.00 - 15.45 (part II)

Truth, probability and common sense in science – Germund Hesslow, Experimental Medical Science, Lund University. 16 nov 15.15 - 16.00 

Sustainability science and transdisciplinarity research – Barry Ness, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) 17 nov 09.30 - 10.15

Lectures and seminar in interdisciplinarity (Nov 17-18)

- link to module

Aims to introduce research about interdisciplinary and discuss what it means in practice.

Interdisciplinary environmental studies - Gunilla Öberg, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia. 17 nov 11.00 - 11.45

Interdisciplinarity Research – Miles MacLeod, Philosophy, University of Twente. 17 nov 13.30 - 14.30

Seminar with interactive exercises on interdisciplinary – Ullrika Sahlin and Henrik Thorén. 18 nov 9.00 - 11.00 (group 1), 12.30  - 14.30 (group 2). 

My experiences of interdisciplinarity as a PhD student in environmental science - Jasmine Livingston, Lund University Centre for Environmental and Climate Research. 18 nov 15.00 - 15.45

The Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies as an institution for interdisciplinarity - Ann-Katrin Bäcklund, Director of the Pufendorf Institute  for Advanced Studies, Lund University. 18 nov 16.00 - 16.30

Individual paper

Aims to allow the student to apply concepts and understanding about philosophy of science and scientific results on interdisciplinary to reflect on their own research.

Instructions for self-reflection. Provide answers to these questions: How do I make research? Is my research producing knowledge, and if so, what justifies this knowledge (epistemology)? Is my research interdisciplinary? How can it be interdisciplinary? What advantages/disadvantages or barriers/drivers would come from making it more interdisciplinary? Include a reflection on your epistemological model. Refer to the course literature (at least two different references).  2-3 pages. Instructions on how to submit the paper will come.

We will read and give you feedback and, if needed ask you to revise the text.



Course summary:

Date Details Due