Guimarães, M. H., Pohl, C., Bina, O., Varanda, M. (2019) Who is doing inter-and transdisciplinary research, and why? An empirical study of motivations, attitudes, skills and behaviours. In Futures, 2019, Elsevier.
We witness a persistent tension between established ways of knowledge production through disciplines, and the urgent need to widen and change, both the production of knowledge and its organization, not least, in order to be able to understand and address the future and its challenges. Witnessing a growing call for inter- and transdisciplinarity (ITD), we set our goal to learn more about scholars who engage in this kind of research by asking these questions: What characterizes inter- and transdisciplinary researchers (ITDRs)? To what extent do these char-
acteristics help ITDRs deal with the challenges of an academic career path? We address both questions by comparing the ﬁndings from the relevant literature and semi-structured interviews with ITDRs at diﬀerent stages in their careers. Our results bring the ITDR personality a step further in taking a form. ITDR personalities can be characterized by a particular mix of motivations, attitudes, skills, and behaviors. However, the academic environment and its career paths do not seem prepared and adapted for such ITDR personalities. Furthermore and in contrast to the literature, the T-shaped training (ﬁrst, disciplinary depth and then, ITDR) is considered one
possible career path, with the other one being a specialization in facilitating knowledge integration and in developing theories, methods, and tools for ITD. Our analysis concludes by exploring the future of ITD if formal training and learning would be available and if the contextual conditions would be more conducive to undertaking this type of research.