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Let's Discover What is Interdisciplinarity Through Artistic Representation

AScUS (un)Conference 2021
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Session Leader: Claudine Gillot

Complex ecological problems question all scientific disciplines. Sustainability and the study of technical systems for sustainability must be understood in a holistic way, otherwise some issues will be missed. The segmentation of science into disciplines can be a hindrance to dialogue between different scientific fields, making dialogue between different disciplines an additional effort for the researcher. Interdisciplinarity, in theory and practice, is often perceived as a risk for researchers (e.g. perceived as a difficulty of identification in a community).
In order to make interdisciplinarity less abstract and demystify it, we propose an artistic workshop on it. This workshop would be two hours long, reproducible in any academic setting. The objective is to bring together researchers from different communities and make them reflect on a specific socio-technical system: the tomato. The tomato is a transversal object known to all. This object may seem very simple to anyone not working on it, but in fact hides a certain complexity that is not apparent at first glance. Researchers will be encouraged to :
(1) individually graphically represent their vision of interdisciplinarity,
(2) immerse themselves in the role of a tomato researcher (discipline assigned at the beginning of the workshop),
(3) propose research questions that would allow researchers to interface with each other around a common scientific effort,
(4) collectively graphically represent their vision of interdisciplinarity.

Dear AScUS participants,

Next week the second session of AScUS unconference will start and we are excited to present our workshop “Let's discover what is interdisciplinarity through artistic representation !”. The workshop consists of a role play where the purpose is to bring together researchers from different communities and make them reflect on a specific socio-technical system: the tomato ! Why reflecting on research on tomato? To get the answer, we invite you to a pre-conference! To accommodate people from different time zones, we propose 2 one-hour sessions (you only have to come to the one that is more suitable for you):

Monday 24th may at 6.30 PM CET
Tuesday 25th may at 11 AM CET

During the pre-conference we will present the workshop and it will be a good opportunity to get to know each other through a playful and artistic way, and to get familiar with the digital tools we will use (Miro Board and Blackboard).

Attention : during the conference, each of our discussion sessions can only be opened to 8 persons maximum. So we will send a confirmation message to the 8 first participants registered to each workshop. Again, to accommodate the different time zones, we propose 3 sessions during the conference. You can find the full shcedule here:

We hope that all the participants will be willing to play our game will be able to do it! You can register from now at this link :

Feel free to contact us for any question!

Looking forward to meeting you,


Claudine Gillot -

Lou Grimal -

We had a delay with adding the pre-conference activity to the platform; it is now online and you can register for:

Session I on Monday (24th) or

Session (II) on Tuesday (25th)

Registration is not mandatory for the pre-conference activity, but encouraged, helping the session organizers to plan the amount of attendees.

Hi Lou and Claudine!

I joined the pre-conference activity but had trouble getting the hang of Miro Board. Can you point me to a tutorial video or something similar? Hopefully I can get a little practice so I am not struggling during the session, too :)
thank you!

Hi Andrew,
Yes no problem, here is a tutorial :
It is quite long but it gives the basics!
If you cannot handle the tool, then you will ask the others to move stuff on the board for you :)

sounds great -- thank you!

Hi everyone! With Claudine we are going to start to think about the path to action. If you participated in the workshop, feel free to suggest some path to action by responding to this message!!
Questions we are thinking about : how to make the workshop accessible to many people? To which public? Which format? How it can be used to make reserachers understand interdisciplinarity? What changes are needed in the workshop before making it accessible to everyone? etc
Claudine and Lou

Hi guys, we hope you are all fine !!!
The AScUS week is nearly finished. But the work on tomato keeps going!
Here is the link to the Miro Board :
On the board, you can see the different graphical representations of the different groups. You can also give your feedback on the last frame in blue, with your questions and the potential path to action you see.
We thank you all for being actively present during the workshops!
Take care,
Claudine and Lou

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