Figure 1
Figure 1: A conceptualisation of effective problem-oriented research. In situations where facts are highly uncertain and conflicts of interests and values are high (post-normal situations), the effectiveness of science-based societal problem-solving depends simultaneously on the adequateness of i. the causal understanding of the problem, ii. the handling of conflicts of interests and values, and iii. the means of action. Science can contribute to the clarification of these points through the production of systems, target and transformation knowledge, respectively. However, the link between the scientific production of these interdependent knowledge forms and an adequate understanding and handling of the problem is not evident and has to be clarified through deliberation among experts and stakeholders (boundary management). Such boundary management is itself a part of effective problem-oriented research.