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Transdisciplinary Sustainability: The Council for Frontiers of Knowledge

This paper represents an overview of the various transdisciplinary domains of interest to a number of Directors of the Council for Frontiers of Knowledge

Extract:

More about this organisation shortly; in this brief introduction I want to set out the scope and vision of this paper. Many agencies exist – charitable, public sector and private – with a mission to improve the flow and uptake of ideas, innovations and useful practice across borders. This journal regularly publishes papers, which describe organisations and agencies that develop themes of knowledge transfer and sustainable intellectual practice. The CFK is one such agency. As will be shown, the CFK is no silver bullet to all the issues that beset the continent, nor is it attempting to confront or engage with the plethora of political and ethical concerns that beset development more widely. CFK is concerned with ideas. This paper contains an overview of the various trans-disciplinary domains of interest to the Directors of the CFK in partnership with some of their African colleagues and an insight into how this work is being applied. In a series of vignettes the key interests of some of the CFK Directors are elaborated and the overall mission of the CFK is revealed. Each article in the collective and synthetic piece can be seen as an observation from a particular edge of human understanding. Together they combine to form a braided strand with common yet distinct threads.

In the introductory piece Atkins Katusabe and Pamela Weathers set out the history of the CFK and place its origin and intention in the contemporary era. Simon Bell and Stephen Morse using the CFK community itself, discuss the potential for participation to be made more inclusive and the outcomes to be evidence-based. Dermot Diamond addresses the twin issues of sensing technologies for health diagnostics and distributed environmental sensing and describes how CFK can foster the inclusion of more African researchers. Jenny Emnéus, Filipo Bosco and Cecilia Agrell discuss a unique programme of mentoring – instigated within the CFK and beginning to show powerful outcomes. Anthony Guiseppi-Elie and Francis Moussy then focus on medical diagnostics and discuss the potential for use in the largely low income countries of Africa. Jim Lynch describes research in technologies for monitoring and assessing de-forestation and, building on this, the current Chair of the CFK Board of Directors, Fionn Murtagh, discusses the role of Information and Communication technologies as both a challenge to, and an indicator of, development in Africa. PK Nair takes up the synthetic theme of this article in his piece which promotes the integrated nature of agro-forestry as key to Africa’s productive sustainability. Finally, Pamela Weathers and Alice Amoding consider the value of Artemisia annua and the effect of this important medicinal plant in terms of its potential impact on the cultivation of food crops in developing countries that are prone to malaria.

Cecilia Agrell, Simon Bell, Filipo Bosco, Dermot Diamond, Jenny Emnéus, Anthony Guiseppi-Elie, Atkins Katusabe, Jim Lynch, Stephen Morse, Francis G. Moussy, Fionn Murtagh, P. K. R. Nair, Pamela J. Weathers . (2014) Transdisciplinary Sustainability: The Council for Frontiers of Knowledge. International Journal of Transdisciplinary Research. 7, 1, pp. 1-26

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The Council for Frontiers of Knowledge