Final Report

Specific evolving socio-political and material global dynamics, such as the progress of unprecedented anthropomorphic global warming and the rise of climate change skepticism, put increasing pressure on multidisciplinary communication. This project explores whether the notion of 'boundary object' from science and technology studies could be used to facilitate the further development of multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder communication in the context of evolving, global Arctic governance. In its original framework, the concept was used to examine how the viewpoints and interests of actors inhabiting different social worlds, such as natural and technical scientists, philanthropists, and recreational hunters, have been able to be accounted for in the organization of cooperation for scientific work in complex institutional settings. Two conference sessions, one during Arctic Science Summit Week 2017 and the other during IX International Congress for Arctic Social Sciences, were planned to assist in exploring whether it could also be utilized to facilitate the translation and communication of different normative, epistemic and ontological assumptions of different socio-political actors and scientific disciplines in the development of new, sustainable global governance.



  • The notion of “boundary objects” from Science and Technology Studies offers one way to enter the analysis of why specific initiatives that include conflicting interests, many actors and a need for collaboration thrive and others do not.
  • An exercise of translating and discussing the different social worlds present and interconnected to work sites of scientists is one way of acknowledging silenced or implicated actors and biases in research design i.e. rising out from differences in temporal and spatial scales.
  • In translating visions and reaching out to new audiences, visual interpretations or story lines can sometimes work as better tools in initial communication than mere numeric data.
  • In cross-disciplinary research planning there should be enough time planned for interchange between the different paradigms. This ensures that there is a respect for the differences in them. It also lessens the tendency of setting different paradigms in hierarchical position against each other.



Workshop Report

Workshop Slides

ASSW Information Package

ICASS Information Package


Date and Location: 

6 April & 12 June 2017 | Prague (Czech Republic) & Umeå (Sweden)


IASC Working Group / Committees funding the Project:


Project Lead

Justiina Dahl


Year funded by IASC



Project Status





Designed & hosted by Arctic Portal