Accepted Paper:

The performance and transformation of evidence and publics in transdisciplinary research contexts  


Judith Igelsböck (Technical University of Munich)

Paper long abstract:

The paper is concerned with the communication of results and outcomes in so-called transdisciplinary research - which is characterized by the collaborative production of knowledge between scientists, practitioners, as well as diverse kinds of publics. In a mode of knowledge production that does not keep up to a producer-user distinction, in which both scientific and societal actors are considered both knowledge producers and target audience, the communication of findings is certainly not trivial.

From a dramaturgical perspective I will explore how evidence is performed in such moments of communication, and which transformations it undergoes when travelling from one stage to another. Concretely, I will examine the performances of evidence on three different stages: scientific journals, newspaper articles, and presentations on webpages. In doing so, I will not only gain insights on the persuasive registers that are mobilized to convince a certain audience. As 'acts of persuasion' the performances of evidence will also shed light on the situated ways in which different actors are cast respectively cast themselves. This will allow to reflect on the ways how diverse actors are empowered and disempowered in participatory research.

The material is stemming from a research project that aims to produce an empirical understanding of participatory engagements by investigating transdisciplinary projects as funded by an Austrian research scheme in sustainability research.

Panel C2
Solidarity and plurality: Dimensions of 'the public' in scientific engagement