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Introduction

By virtue of its own multi-sectoral nature, and faithful to its mandate, UNESCO has a long-standing engagement with initiatives and ideas stemming from the co-operation of various disciplines, on a ground fertilized by the encounter of all the world’s

cultures.

This is precisely why the International

Symposium on Transdisciplinarity

  • -

    held in

Val-d’Oise f r o m 2 5 t o 2 9 M a y 1 9 9 8 , i n t h e m a r v e l o u s C i s t e r c i a n s e t t i n g o f t h e “Towards Integrative Process and Integrated Royaumont Abbey - on the theme

Knowledge ” has aroused the deepest interest and support of the Organization.

The Symposium, organized by the McGill

Centre for Ethics, Medicine

and Law

(Montreal, UNESCO,

Canada), was sponsored by the Encyclopaedia of Life Support actively represented by the Division of Philosophy and Ethics.

Systems

and

Twenty-seven participants, including scholars coming from universities

in seven

countries,

together

with

representatives

from

different

sectors of UNESCO

(Education, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Philosophy), took the opportunity to undertake a thorough dialogue on transdisciplinarity.

After the welcoming addresses by the two co-conveners (Prof. Margaret Somerville and Prof. David Rapport), the Director of the Division of Philosophy and Ethics of UNESCO (Prof. Yersu Kim), and the E.O.L.S.S. representative (Prof. Andrew Sage), four fundamental questions were put up for reflection:

a>

l-9 4 4

What What What

How

is transdisciplinarity? makes transdisciplinarity

succeed or fail?

global

issues need transdisciplinarity?

do we

research and evaluate

transdisciplinarity?

VII

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