Workshop 'Know how meets know why'


KüNO Online Workshop 'Know how meets know why'


Inspiring workshop on interdisciplinary collaboration in coastal research


Nearly 60 natural and social scientists met virtually on 6 September, 2021, to discuss how to improve collaboration between the two scientific disciplines. Often, this fails due to a lack of understanding of the other discipline and communication barriers. For example, the meaning of terms is different or unclearly defined, one discipline is only subsequently involved in a project, or the tasks of the other discipline are misunderstood. Often, social scientists are seen only as communicators with users and not as researchers.
However, in order to find solutions to the challenges in our oceans caused by climate change and utilization pressure, a joint approach is imperative. Neither discipline alone can develop viable strategies for sustainable management of the North and Baltic Seas.
Prof. Anna-Katharina Hornidge gave an educational Input.
Therefore, the workshop participants, who are mainly involved in the Coastal Research North Sea Baltic Sea (KüNO) and the German Alliance for Marine Research (DAM) and who are two thirds anchored in the natural sciences, first received an overview of the research approaches of the social sciences. With Prof. Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Director of the German Development Institute) and Sebastian Unger (Research Group Leader at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies), two highly recognized social scientists with extensive experience in interdisciplinary marine research explained their scientific methods and clarified the differences between interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. Subsequently, example projects from German coastal research were used to present how social and natural scientists collaborate on joint network analyses, economic valuation of the environment, and in the analysis of governance mechanisms. The core of the workshop was discussions in smaller groups. There, previous experiences were reflected upon and improvement measures were constructively debated.
"Time is needed to improve interdisciplinary collaboration," summarizes PD Dr. Jochen Hinkel, project coordinator of the KüNO project ECAS-Baltic and initiator of the workshop. "Communication barriers are high and can only be broken down through joint exchange. This must definitely be taken into account in project planning." Everyone also agreed that it is necessary to plan projects together from the beginning. The goals in particular must be coordinated in close cooperation to avoid false expectations. Last but not least, approaches from other research disciplines should already be addressed in education and interdisciplinary exchange should be trained.
In total nearly 6o social and natural scientists participated in the workshop.
Despite all the difficulties that cooperation with other disciplines can bring, all participants recognized its high value and want to contribute to breaking down barriers and tackling challenges for future generations of researchers as well. Formats for a more in-depth exchange on specific aspects are now being developed in the KüNO network. This is not only beneficial for current research projects, but also for future ones. Furthermore, scientists from the DAM research missions, which are often closely linked to KüNO projects, are to be involved.
Please find the presentations of the workshop below under the respective links. 



  1:00 to 1:45 pm: Input  
  Modes & Logics of Inter- & Transdisciplinarity Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Director of the German Development Institute (DIE)
  Transformative research on ocean governance - Introduction into realist social science research
Sebastian Unger, Research Group Leader at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)
  1:45 to 2:15 pm: Examples of collaboration patterns in coastal research  
  Joint network analysis by social and natural science

Dr. Marco Scotti, Scientist of iSeal at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

  Monetization of the Marine and Coastal Environment
Lennard Kröger, Scientist of SeaStore at the Kiel Institute for World Economy (IfW)
  Governance research looking backwards, Biophysical research looking forwards PD Dr. Jochen Hinkel, Project coordinator of ECAS-BALTIC at the Global Climate Forum (GCF)
  Coffee break  
  2:30 to 3:30 pm: Discussions in breakout groups  
  • Incentives and barriers in collaboration
  • Examples of well- (and bad-) functioning collaboration
  • Finding solutions – different ways of social and natural scientists to solve a task
  • How to overcome missunderstandings between social and natural scientists
Moderators: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Bathmann (IOW), PD Dr. Jochen Hinkel (Global Climate Forum), Dr. Grit Martinez (Ecologic Institute), Prof. Dr. Marie-Catherine Riekhof (CAU), Heike Schwermer (CAU), Cristina de la Vega (University of Greifswald), Dr. Christian Wagner-Ahlfs (CAU)
  3:30 to 4:00 pm: Wrap up  
  Feedback from the discussions & conclusion how to proceed PD Dr. Jochen Hinkel, Project coordinator of ECAS-BALTIC at the Global Climate Forum (GCF)