Chapter 4: The theory and practice of transdisciplinary science in the water-energy-food nexus
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Leading scholars in nexus research have argued for increased transdisciplinarity in nexus research as one way of intertwining knowledge making and governance. This chapter specifically addresses scholar-practitioners who are curious about the promises and perils of transdisciplinary work and, for that reason, gives concrete details from ‘behind the scenes' of transdisciplinary nexus science design, management and implementation. A review of 23 empirical studies applying transdisciplinary methods to water-energy-food nexus and a deep reflection on one particular transdisciplinary nexus science project yields three observations for future work in this direction: 1) Actionable knowledge is a desirable goal for transdisciplinary nexus science but it is an ill-defined concept that needs to be delineated for water-energy-food nexus research. 2) Participatory scenario modelling that has emerged as an effective method from a number of transdisciplinary empirical tests in water-energy-food nexus research. 3) Evaluative practices are challenging but invaluable in connecting theory and practice in transdisciplinary science.

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