Mode 2: Transdisciplinar Knowledge


  • problem solving carried out following the codes of practice relevant to a particular discipline: the context is defined in relation to the cognitive and social norms that govern basic research
  • problem solving organized around a particular application (mode 2): knowledge results from a broader range of considerations, it is produced under an aspect of continuous negotiation and it will not be produced unless and until the interests of the various actors are included, it is also socially distributed.

Transdisciplinarity has four features:

  • it develops a distinct but evolving framework to guide problem-solving efforts. This framework is generated and sustained within the context of application, not extrinsic to it.
  • the solution comprises both empirical and theoretical components and it is an undeniable contribution to knowledge but not necessarily disciplinary knowledge
  • the results are communicated to those who have participated, in the course of that participation. the diffusion of the results is initially accomplished in the process of their production, subsequent diffusion occurs as original practitioners move to new problem contexts not by reporting
  • it is dynamic, on the move, it is difficult to predict the future applications of the knowledge produced



Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P., Trow, M., 2005. The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies. London; Thousand Oaks; New Delhi: Sage Publications, First published in 1994. ISBN 0-8039-7793-X, pp. 3-6

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