Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science (Jahn et al. 2012) and knowledge-co-production are nowadays much-mentioned concepts. However, it is especially the creative co-production of knowledge that requires attention. Ostrom (1996) defines co-production as a process in which a common product is created through the contribution of actors from different backgrounds. According to her, co-production can improve the effectiveness of research by linking it to community preferences and needs, which contributes to feasible outcomes and solutions. Hence, co-production addresses the ‘relevance gap’ towards solving common problems and the process leads, at best to the creation of transformation knowledge (Jahn 2012). Therefore, research instruments such as living labs and citizen science, which test innovative sustainability approaches with relevant societal actors, have become more common. Even though inter- and transdisciplinary science gained leeway, techno-scientific approaches (Lacey 2012) continue dominating because the whole science infrastructure favors western rationality (Latour& Woolgar 1979). Working closely together with colleagues and students from Brazil, Peru and Bolivia we live the postcolonial tensions resulting from such bias’ and tackle them jointly. At the same time, we acknowledge the role western science has taken in constructing a unique view of the world based on binary classifications (culture-nature, men-women, etc.) rejecting along centuries other ways of knowing and living in this world (Castro Gómez 2007).
What is actually needed are new scientific practices, different forms of constructing knowledge and young scientists who burn for it! This is exactly what we intend to foster with the PRODIGYs’ postgrad course.
Jahn, T., Bergmann, M., Keil, F., (2012). Transdisciplinarity: Between mainstreaming and marginalisation. Ecological Economics 79, 1-10.
Lacey, Hugh, (2012). Reflections on science and technoscience, Sci. stud. vol.10 no.spe São Paulo
Latour, B. & Woolgar, S. (1979). Laboraty Life: The social construction of scientific facts, Beverly Hills, Sage.
Ostrom, E. (1996). Crossing the Great Divide: Coproduction, Synergy, and Development. World Development. 24(6), 1073-1087.
Castro-Gómez, Santiago, (2007). Descolonizar la universidad. La hybris del punto cero y el diálogo de saberes. En Castro-Gómez, S. y R. Grosfoguel (eds.) El giro decolonial. Siglo del Hombre Editores. Bogotá, 79-91.