Toward transdisciplinary research: historical and contemporary perspectives

Am J Prev Med. 2008 Aug;35(2 Suppl):S225-34. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.05.005.


Over the past two decades a variety of national and international efforts has sought to bring together health and social scientists to address complex health issues. This paper reviews how the notion of transdisciplinary research has emerged; discusses research programs that have successfully traversed discipline boundaries in sustained fashion; considers facilitating and constraining factors that have emerged from the analyses of this process; and suggests next steps for conceptualizing, organizing, and assessing transdisciplinary research based on the notion of heterarchy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Developing Countries
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Models, Organizational
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Public Health Administration / trends*
  • Research / organization & administration*
  • Research / trends
  • Social Sciences / organization & administration
  • Social Sciences / trends*
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • World Health Organization / organization & administration