Externally funded project

Reflections on the preconditions and possible constraints preventing a constructive transfer of knowledge by the example of the animal health (REFLEXION)

Project Details
Project duration: 02/201303/2014


In the research project representatives from various stakeholder groups in the field of “animal health” participated in several workshops. Their beliefs and estimates were subject to a comprehensive reflection from communication science and epistemological perspective.

The estimates varied a lot within and between stakeholder groups. Self-referential understanding of roles and efforts to justify their own positions hardly provided starting points for concerted action to improve the current deficits in animal health status of farm animals.

While “knowledge” itself cannot be transferred in the proper sense, the distribution of targeted information and overcoming existing barriers is subject to preconditions. The transfer of information cannot be separated from the context of its generation and dissemination. It is only effective when it is tailored to previously determined needs in terms of a goal whose achievement can be supported by the specific information.

In contrast, a flood of catchy "bits of information" may reduce the willingness to reflect on the necessary information needs.

The term "animal health" proves to be not measurable and inappropriate to promote improvements in livestock farming. In contrast, the concept of "production diseases" enables more targeted improvements. A precondition for improvement is the establishment of target values (e.g. acceptable prevalence rates of selected production diseases) by politics, which serve as orientation for all stakeholder groups.

The present conception and organization of the "transfer of knowledge" in the form of a "transfer of technology" is not effective in the context of animal health issues and requires fundamental revision, if the transfer should contribute to improve the situation.

Research Areas



Last updated on 2019-15-03 at 16:16