Why a scientist would be interested in collaboration

Intersecting Processes

Some students asked me why, as a scientist, I would also write and teach about collaborative processes. There are a variety of angles:
1. Teaching science students to ask questions about scientific ideas, not simply learn what has been established led me from showing them where there were problems with current assumptions/reasoning/evidence/applications to helping them develop their lifelong capacities to do that for themselves. (Analogy: “if you give a person a fish they eat for a day. if you teach them to fish they eat for a lifetime”) The result was an emphasis on tools and processes like those in workshop 2, http://www.faculty.umb.edu/pjt/journey.html#challenges

2. Working on environmental problems: “Since the 1990s collaboration has become a dominant concern in environmental planning and management, but the need to organize collaborative environmental research can be traced back at least as far as the tropical rainforest ecosystem projects led by H.T. Odum…

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

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