Dialogue: Philosophically structured ‘Toolbox’ to improve cross-disciplinary communication

The Toolbox consists of a series of questions to probe team member views on the practice of science and acts as a stimulus for discussion. Questions cover motivation, methodology, confirmation, objectivity, values and reductionism and emergence.

This philosophically structured dialogue can be used to uncover worldviews that frame what investigators see, what priorities they set, how they talk, and how they act. The  Toolbox questions (PDF 103KB) are discussion prompts and are grounded in concepts and methods drawn from epistemology and the philosophy of science and supply common ground on which collaborators can stand when discussing the nature of their engagement in a particular project.

Video (1 hour): “Structured Dialogue to Uncover Research Assumptions” presented by Michael O’Rouke was a workshop at the First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation held in Canberra in Australia, online and at three co-conferences (Lueneburg in Germany, The Hague in the Netherlands and Montevideo in Uruguay), 8-11 September 2013. The Microsoft PowerPoint presentation from the video below is available as a  PDF (700KB).



Reference: Eigenbrode, S. D., O’Rourke, M., Wulfhorst, J. D., Althoff, D. M., Goldberg, C. S., Merrill, K., Morse, W., Nielsen-Pincus, M., Stephens, J., Winowiecki, L. and Bosque-Pérez, N. A.(2007). Employing Philosophical Dialogue in Collaborative Science. BioScience, 57, 1: 55-64. Full text online at: https://i2s.anu.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/eigenbrodeetalbioscience.pdf (272KB).

Website: http://tdi.msu.edu

This tool is also included in the td-net Toolbox for Co-producing Knowledge featured elsewhere in I2S resources: https://i2s.anu.edu.au/resources/knowledge-coproduction-td-net-toolbox

Posted: May 2011
Last modified: November 2019