Guidelines for proposers of an inter- and transdisciplinary session: what is an ITS?

Inter- and transdisciplinary sessions (ITS) link disciplines within the geosciences in a novel way to address specific (and often new) problems or link the geosciences to other disciplines (including human sciences), to address societal challenges.

In organizing sessions at the EGU General Assembly, we use the following terms.

  • Disciplinarity divides a research field into specific domains characterized by relatively self-contained interactions. Disciplinary sessions at the EGU General Assembly address basic and fundamental geoscience questions.
  • Multidisciplinarity draws on knowledge from several disciplines, in which the disciplines collaborate from their own perspective but stay within their field. This allows, for example, addressing of interactions among geosystems.
  • Interdisciplinarity looks for links between disciplines in a coordinated and coherent effort, with the aim of creating new approaches that would not be possible if handled separately.
  • Transdisciplinarity transcends traditional boundaries of disciplines by reaching out to, for example, social, economic, and political sciences.

At the General Assembly, disciplinary sessions are typically organized within a single programme group (division), while multidisciplinary sessions would typically be co-organized between two or more programme groups. Co-organization of a session with other programme groups can be requested during session proposal. Please note the distinction between co-organized sessions and ITS. The aim of the ITS is to give a home to the inter- and transdisciplinary types of sessions. We are looking for sessions that either link disciplines within the geosciences in a novel way to address specific (and often new) problems (interdisciplinary sessions) or that link the geosciences to other disciplines, in particular from the humanities, to address societal challenges (transdisciplinary sessions).

ITS sessions are hosted in the ITS programme group, which will schedule those sessions in collaboration with participating programme groups. We ask conveners to identify a scientific leader programme group. The scientific leader will help conveners handle applications for Roland Schlich travel support and for the Outstanding Student and PhD candidate Presentation (OSPP) award.

The programme committee will review the level of disciplinarity of the sessions proposed as an ITS. Sessions that are deemed disciplinary or multidisciplinary instead of inter- or transdisciplinary will be proposed to the scientific leader programme group for inclusion in its session programme. A final decision to run a specific ITS theme during the EGU General Assembly will also be made during this review.