Netherlands, Wageningen

Tackling Transparency: the Methodological Challenges of Research on Disclosing Sustainability

when 21 June 2016 - 25 June 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2.5 ECTS
fee EUR 500

The Summer School will be organized in conjunction to the International Conference “Disclosing Sustainability; The Transformative Power of Transparency?”. The Summer School participants are therefore able to generate expert insights and experiences for operationalizing research on the presented themes in the International Conference which takes place on June 24 and June 25, 2016 in Wageningen. The Summer School is scheduled from June 21 to June 25, 2016.

The aim of the Summer School is to explore the methodological challenges of operationalizing research on disclosing sustainability. The Summer School will highlight a number of themes and contexts in which these challenges manifest themselves:
• Analyzing the role of information in sustainability practices
• Using big data and social media in research
• Developing and analyzing sustainability indicators
• Involving and analyzing citizen science approaches

More specifically, the Summer School will address the methodological challenges that researchers encounter in operationalizing their research and in facing the following questions, among others:
• What are fundamental concepts in researching transparency?
• What basic research skills do I need, and do these differ from the ones I already have?
• Do I need to use new methods, why and which?
• To what extent can or should I be engaged, for example when using social media?
• How do I deal with representativeness of my research population, should I be happy or worried about citizens who are eager to participate in my study?
• What about ethics in transparency-research: how do I deal with privacy-issues and with availability and accessibility of data gathered and stored by private companies?
• Are there specific biases and pitfalls I should be aware of, in terms of the reliability and validity of my research?
• What does transparency mean for the role of science in society?
• What are useful and fun ways of disclosing my own research findings?

Course leader

Dr. Machiel Lamers
Dr. Sanneke Kloppenburg
Dr. Hilde Toonen and invited lecturers

Target group

The Summer School is open to an international group of PhD candidates and Postdocs, who embark on, or are already involved in researching transparency, accountability and empowerment in the broad realm of sustainable development. The group may include PhD candidates, in any phase of their research, from the field of social sciences, such as political sciences, sociology, geography, and economics. It should be noted that PhD students and Postdocs whose paper has been accepted by the International Conference committee are invited to participate in the Summer School, but this is not a prerequisite for participation.

Course aim

The aim of the Summer School is to explore the methodological challenges of operationalizing research on disclosing sustainability. The Summer School will highlight a number of themes and contexts in which these challenges manifest themselves:
• Analyzing the role of information in sustainability practices
• Using big data and social media in research
• Developing and analyzing sustainability indicators
• Involving and analyzing citizen science approaches

Credits info

2.5 ECTS
Estimation:
• Preparation: 16 hours
• Participation/attendance Summer School (including International Conference and some evening activities): 44 hours

Fee info

EUR 500: The Summer School fee is 500 euros. This fee includes food, drinks, course materials, the conference fee and accommodation for four nights (Tuesday until Saturday).
PhDs registered with WASS and SENSE pay a reduced fee of 250 euros.