Category: wicked problems

After half a century of ‘wicked’ policy problems, are we any better at managing them?

Since the term was popularised by Rittel and Webber in their seminal article, Dilemmas in a general theory of planning, the concept of ‘wicked problems’, or those that are resistant to optimal solutions, has posed a significant challenge to the creatio…

Putting social science in its place – Could social science parks be the answer to wicked problems?

Whilst many of the challenges addressed by the social sciences concern global issues, they are ultimately experienced and manifested within the specific context of communities and localities. In this post, Chris Taylor discusses SPARK, an initiative by Cardiff University to develop a ‘social science park’, and how bringing together transdisciplinary groups from academia and local … Continued

Recognising interdisciplinary expertise: is it time we established the integration and implementation sciences?

Embedding interdisciplinarity into the academic mainstream has proved a constant challenge. Gabriele Bammer asks whether it might help to define the relevant expertise as a new discipline, one that recognises important skills such as the ability to combine knowledge from different disciplines, determine which disciplines and stakeholders have valuable perspectives, examine how elements of problems are interconnected, assess the likely […]

Developing social science identities in interdisciplinary research and education

While it is no longer uncommon for social scientists to be included in research groups tackling complex problems in the natural sciences, limited understanding of the different disciplinary areas within the social sciences remains a challenge. Eric Toman describes the approach social science faculties at his university have taken to address this and also outlines how graduate training programmes have […]