ETH-NSSI Transdisciplinarity Laboratory (TdLab)
There is a need for adequate institutional facilities through which a science-society dialogue can be established, e.g., a transdisciplinarity laboratory. Here, scientists and non-scientists cooperate for a certain period of time, aspire to a mutual learning process and conduct transdisciplinary research.
The TdLab has developed the ETH-NSSI Case Study in the Department of Environmental Sciences. The transdisciplinary case study is a hybrid combining learning, research, and application used to learn competencies and skills necessary for research in problems of sustainable development. The current focus of the TdLab is on the application of our knowledge, skills and experiences to real(-life), complex, societally-relevant problems shaped by environmental issues, such as radioactive waste management.
TdLab: From NSSI To USYS
After nearly 20 years within NSSI, the TdLab in 2013 started its activities with a much broader scope at the level of the Department of Environmental Systems Science .
For more information see the USYS TdLab's web pages »»
TdLab Core Team [further members see individual projects]
- Dr. Michael Stauffacher (Senior Researcher, lecturer) »»
- Dr. Pius Krütli (Senior Researcher, lecturer) »»
- Sandro Bösch (Logistics & Information Technology) »»
- [Prof. em. Roland W. Scholz (former head 1994–2012)]
Transdisciplinary Case Studies
The transdisciplinary case study (td CS) is a compulsory part of the MSc in Environmental Sciences - Major in Human-Environment Systems but offered for other Masters, too:
- »» CS 2014 "Mountain Ecosystems and Global Change" organized in the context of the Mountland project (P. Krütli, R. Seidl)
- »» CS 2013 "Sustainable urban development: the case of the Siemens site in Zug" organized in the context of the KTI InduCity project (M. Stauffacher, C. Moser, T. von Wirth, C. Adler, J. Fonseca, A Schlüter)
- »» CS 2012 "Sustainable river restoration: the case of the Thur in Niederneunforn" organized in the context of the CCES Project RECORD and the follow-up project RECORD CATCHMENT (M. Stauffacher, B. Doulatyari, V. C. Viswanathan, R. Seidl, M. Schirmer)
- »» CS 2011 "Sustainable Water Management: the case of Mönchaltorfer Aa, Greifensee" organized in the context of the NRP 61 (M. Stauffacher, C. Egger, F. Schnetzer, L. Scholten, D. Tendall, E. Engel)
- »» CS 2010 "Challenges and opportunities in the energy sector: the case of the Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden" organized in the context of the CCES project ClimPol (M. Stauffacher, C. Bening, Y. Blumer, D. Saner, J. Hoppmann, R. W. Scholz)
- »» CS 2009 "Energy (CO2) strategies of small communities and SME" organized in the context of the CCES project ClimPol (M. Stauffacher, C. Bening, E. Trutnevyte, H. Hendrichs, L. Wallquist, R. W. Scholz)
- »» CS 2008 "International comparison of stakeholder preferences of decision making processes in radioactive waste governance" (M. Stauffacher, P. Krütli, T. Flüeler, R. W. Scholz)
Transdisciplinary Research Projects
We apply the knowledge gained in transdisciplinary case study in various research projects.
- Radioactive Waste (P. Krütli, C. Moser, M. Stauffacher, T. Flüeler, R. Seidl, R. W. Scholz)
- Sustainable Positioning of Railway Stations (S. Zemp, D. Lang, M. Stauffacher, R. W. Scholz)
- Investors construct lifestyles (R. Bügl, U. Kriese, M. Stauffacher, R. W. Scholz)
- CCES-ClimPol: Development of resilient energy strategies for communities (E. Trutnevyte, M. Stauffacher, R.W. Scholz)
Selected key publications
- Scholz, R. W., Lang, D., Walter, A. I., Wiek, A., & Stauffacher, M. (2006). Transdisciplinary case studies as a means of sustainability learning: historical framework and theory. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 7(3), 226-251.
- Scholz, R. W., & Stauffacher, M. (2007). Managing transition in clusters: area development negotiations as a tool for sustaining traditional industries in a Swiss prealpine region. Environment and Planning A, 39, 2518-2539.
- Scholz, R.W. & Tietje, O. (2002). Embedded Case Study Methods: Integrating Quantitative And Qualitative Knowledge. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
- Stauffacher, M., Flüeler, T., Krütli, P., & Scholz, R. W. (2009). Systematic and dynamic approach to collaborative landscape planning: a transdisciplinary case study in a Swiss pre-alpine region. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 21(6), 409-422 [DOI : 10.1007/s11213-008-9107-7]
- Stauffacher, M., Walter, A., Lang, D., Wiek, A., & Scholz, R. W. (2006). Learning to research environmental problems from a functional socio-cultural constructivism perspective: The transdisciplinary case study approach. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 7(3), 252-275.
- Walter, A.I, Helgenberger, S., Wiek, A. & Scholz, R.W. (2007). Measuring social effects of transdisciplinary research projects. Design and application of an evaluation method. Evaluation and Program Planning, 30, 325-338.