Conversations in Science
for K-12 Educators

A program conceived and organized by the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with the collaboration of the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Edgewood Sonderegger Science Center.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 4:00 p.m.

Walking Through Walls…The Art & Science of Interdisciplinary Approaches to ”Environmental Science"

Professor Frances Westley
Director, Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies


About the conversation:

Discussion will focus on the increasing demand for new forms of knowledge production that occurs outside as well as inside the universities. These new forms demand that people from multiple disciplines as well as practitioners integrate their knowledge for problem resolution. We need to train a new generation of thinkers and scholars who are able to work with others with very different perspectives than their own. This training requires the development of new competencies and methodologies, but these can be taught and practiced in the classroom.

About the presenter:

Frances Westley is Director of the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at University of Wisconsin , Madison . Before joining the faculty at UW-Madison in 2004, she was James McGill Professor of Strategy in the Faculty of Management, McGill University . She received her PhD and MA in Sociology from McGill University . Her research, writing, and teaching centers on leadership and managing strategic change – at the organizational and inter-organizational level – with a particular emphasis on environmental management. She has published widely in the areas of middle management and strategic change, visionary leadership and inter-organizational collaboration. In 2004 she published Experiments in Consilience ( Island Press) , which focused on the dynamics of inter-organizational and interdisciplinary collaboration in the management of ecological and conservation challenges. Her most recent book entitled Getting to Maybe (Random House, 2006) focuses on the inter-relationship of individual and system dynamics in social innovation and transformation.