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Briefing document on integrative research methods (a book)

This MS is now available for download:

Breaking the Phoenix Cycle is about cultural ecodynamics - the dynamic coupling between the biosphere and the world of beliefs and about the way our attempts to understand and manage these processes have changed scientific enquiry.

I write as a participant observer rather than as a scholar, so the book is more or less self-contained. It is organised into nine thematic sections, each containing a few short essays. Some deal with theoretical matters, some with method, others with the management of research projects or policy in respect of knowledge and innovation.
Anyone capable of reading this page knows a great deal about cultural ecodynamics.

We are humans, programmed by our genes and experience to engage in those processes. However, for many that knowledge is tacit and unexamined. This is a formidable obstacle to public and, indeed, professional engagement with recent policy initiatives. Drives to promote innovation, the knowledge-based society and competitive sustainable growth, for example, presume a consensus that does not yet exist. This book is to stimulate discussion and so facilitate that consensus.

My central thesis is that many communities get locked into a pernicious cycle of synthesis, paralysis, conflagration and renaissance that retards our ability to innovate, especially at times when the need for new knowledge is most urgent. Our well-being and possibly even our survival as a species may be determined by our ability to break the Phoenix Cycle.

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University of Newcastle upon Tyne
nUniversity of Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 7RU Newcastle
United Kingdom
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