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Transdisciplinary Interfaces and Innovation in the Life Sciences

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Edited By Eunsook Hyun, Rainer Paslack and Hilmar Stolte

Life science comprises any of the branches of natural science dealing with the structure and behavior of living organisms and their relationships to one another and the environment. By presenting the proceedings of three transdisciplinary transatlantic workshops, this book deals with the interface among the ever expanding fields of molecular biology, nano-technology and synthetic biology as well as the subsequent ethical issues and the need for regulations. In this context the book emphasizes the role of regulations and ethical practices in clinical research, and points out the different approaches used in Europe and the USA. Clinical research was discussed from the perspective that medicine is and should always be a socially responsive human engagement advancing the condition of the living.
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Taking a Transdisciplinary Approach to the Life Sciences – Eunsook Hyun

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Taking a Transdisciplinary Approach to the Life Sciences

Eunsook Hyun

1. Introduction

A means to increasing integrated knowledge and practice without disciplinary boundaries, transdisciplinarity may ultimately provide an avenue for engagements promoting an insightful understanding and problem-solving capacity to complex human problems. Transdisciplinarity is a democratic epistemology and action (Hyun, 2011) that challenges all of us in academia, industry, government, and various human organizations, both public and private, the basis of whose operation comprises all forms of existing disciplinary human knowledge, science, and technology (e.g., Darbellay, Cockell, Billotte, & Waldvogel, 2008; Hadorn, Bradley, Pohl, Rist, & Wisemann, 2006; Kaufman, Moss, & Osborn, 2003; Kessel, & Rosenfield, 2008; Klein, 2004; McWilliam, Hearn, & Haseman, 2008; Nicolescu, 2002, 2007; Ramadier, 2004). The essential purposes of transdisciplinarity are (a) to signify and to engage in a unity of knowledge and surpass mono-, inter-, and multidisciplinary approaches (Hyun, 2011) and (b) to build a capacity for human knowledge that is responsive to solve problems affecting real lives.

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