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Innovative systems and the boundary problem

Objective

As the EU expands, our ability to integrate diverse cultures without overt 'cultural engineering' or suppressing cultural diversity will determine our success in finding peaceful solutions to problems of convergence. 'Convergence', in this sense, is the process of harmonizing local administrative and political institutions with the principles of sound governance established for the Community as a whole.

Convergence invariably creates conflicts of interest on national, regional and local scales and the peaceful enlargement of the EU is probably the biggest challenge Europe has faced since the end of WWII. Investment in cultural research is clearly necessary, not least because the integrative challenges we face now will soon be dwarfed by those of economic globalization. Any general lessons we can learn about cultural ecodynamics will obviously be of strategic significance later in the century. Innovation involves work between epistemic communities that may bring physical, life and human scientists into contact with each other and stakeholder communities.

It is hampered by clashes about whether boundary judgments - the definitions of systems and problems - are universal and real or expedient and socially constructed. ISBP will avoid extreme positions and explore ways of managing the tension between these ideas in integrative research. At one end of the spectrum we will study issues in cultural and natural resource management to understand how negotiating new institutional and epistemic boundaries can reduce tension between antagonized stakeholder communities and promote social cohesion.

At the other, we will explore the ways of characterizing problems in natural science using heuristic data-mining methods to search for boundary judgments that help make problems tractable. We will study water management, asylum and immigration, environmental impact assessment and career structure in integrative research among other topics.

Call for proposal

FP6-2005-NEST-PATH
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Address
6 Kensington Terrace
Newcastle Upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
College Road, Cranfield
Bedford
IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & MEDICINE
United Kingdom
Address
Exhibition Road, South Kensington Campus
London
TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF BARI
Italy
Address
Via Amendola 126/B
Bari
UNIVERSIDAD POLITÉCNICA DE MADRID
Spain
Address
C) Ramiro De Maeztu
Madrid
UNIVERSITEIT TWENTE
Netherlands
Address
Capitool 15
Enschede
UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
United Kingdom
Address
Registrar & Secretary, Northcote House, The Queens Drive
Exeter