1st Edition

Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Transitions to Sustainability

Edited By Edmond Byrne, Gerard Mullally, Colin Sage Copyright 2017
    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Demonstrating how a university can, in a very practical and pragmatic way, be re-envisioned through a transdisciplinary informed frame, this book shows how through an open and collegiate spirit of inquiry the most pressing and multifaceted issue of contemporary societal (un)sustainability can be addressed and understood in a way that transcends narrow disciplinary work. It also provides a practical exemplar of how far more meaningful deliberation, understandings and options for action in relation to contemporary sustainability-related crises can emerge than could otherwise be achieved. Indeed it helps demonstrate how only through a transdisciplinary ethos and approach can real progress be achieved. The fact that this can be done in parallel to (or perhaps underneath) the day-to-day business of the university serves to highlight how even micro seed initiatives can further the process of breaking down silos and reuniting C.P. Snow’s ‘two cultures’ after some four centuries of the relentless project of modernity. While much has been written and talked about with respect to both sustainability and transdisciplinarity, this book offers a pragmatic example which hopefully will signpost the ways others can, will and indeed must follow in our common quest for real progress.

    Part 1: Setting the Scene

    1. Contexts of Transdisciplinarity: Drivers, Discourses & Process

    2. Gerard Mullally, Colin Sage and Edmond Byrne

    3. Disciplines, Perspectives and Conversations

    4. Gerard Mullally, Edmond Byrne and Colin Sage

    5. Sustainability as Contingent Balance between Opposing though Interdependent Tendencies; A Process Approach to Progress and Evolution

    6. Edmond Byrne

      Part 2: Transdisciplinary Conversations and Conceptions

    7. Paradigmatic Transformation across the Disciplines; Snapshots of an Emerging Complexity Informed Approach to Progress, Evolution and Sustainability

    8. Edmond Byrne

    9. Fear and Loading in the Anthropocene: Narratives of Apocalypse and Salvation in the Irish Media

    10. Gerard Mullally

    11. Bio-fuelling the Hummer? Transdisciplinary Thoughts on Techno-Optimism and Innovation in the Transition from Unsustainability

    12. John Barry

    13. The Gulf between Legal and Scientific Conceptions of Ecological ‘Integrity’: The Need for a Shared Understanding in Regulatory Policy-Making

    14. Owen McIntyre and John O'Halloran

    15. Precaution and Prudence in Sustainability: Heuristic of Fear and Heuristic of Love

    16. Bénédicte Sage-Fuller

    17. Sustainable Future Ecological Communities: On the Absence and Continuity of Sacred Symbols, Sublime Objects and Charismatic Heroes

    18. Kieran Keohane

    19. Using Energy Systems Modelling to Inform Ireland’s Low Carbon Future

    20. Brian Ó Gallachóir, Paul Deane and Alessandro Chiodi

    21. Markets, Productivism and the Implications for Irish Rural Sustainable Development

    22. Mary O’Shaughnessy and Colin Sage

    23. Nanomaterials as an Emerging Category of Environmental Pollutants

    24. David Sheehan

      Part 3: Conclusions

    25. Sustaining Interdisciplinarity? Reflections on an Inter-institutional Exchange by an Early Stage Researcher

    26. Stephan Maier, Michael Narodoslawsky and Gerard Mullally

    27. In Praise of Intellectual Promiscuity in the Service of a ‘Passion for Sustainability’

    28. John Barry

    29. Transdisciplinarity within the University: Emergent Possibilities, Opportunities, Challenges and Constraints

    Edmond Byrne, Colin Sage and Gerard Mullally


    Dr Edmond Byrne is Senior Lecturer in Process & Chemical Engineering at University College Cork, Ireland.

    Dr Gerard Mullally is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at University College Cork, Ireland.

    Dr Colin Sage is Senior Lecturer in Geography at University College Cork, Ireland.

    All three are lead collaborators on the ‘Sustainability in Society’ transdisciplinary research group at University College Cork, Ireland.