OJ and I had a discussion today that started out about Implementation Science and ended in a broader discussion about knowledge vs. learning. He told me he was currently reading a book called Implementering: teori och tillämpning inom hälso- & sjukvård in order to get to know more about that field (brought up during my half-time review). What is referred to as being implemented according to the authors of the book is knowledge and more specifically knowledge that is “research-based” or “evidence-based”. However, that view corresponds to an idea of knowledge as being a sort of external product that exists independently and freely outside of our minds. In the book the authors even write explicitly that they position themselves as belonging to a positivist paradigm.

OJ on the other hand sees knowledge as embodied, and I also hold the belief that knowledge always involves a cognitive dimension and thus cannot be put outside of, and regarded independently of, the human mind(s). Although, I am not completely sure what to do about the “knowledge” associated with knowing that the earth is round rather than flat. Doesn’t that “fact” exist outside of our minds somehow? How should facts be considered to relate to knowledge?

I explained to OJ that within the sociological linguistics field that I consider my home environment research-wise, one prefers to speak about learning rather than knowledge. Rather than focusing on knowledge, a noun (and thus easily regarded as an independent unit), one hee prefers to focus on the process related to knowldge acquisition namely learning and thus emphasize that the phenomenon i better described as a continous mutual process rather than a serial process during which initially a product is being produced and then delivered to a unit where it is being used.

As I see it the way-of-thinking and the subsequent terminology in implementation science is tightly linked to the terminology employed in the UserAge program where knowledge translation and knowledge users are the core terms. The question is then to what extent it is possible to combine those two seemingly incommensurable views or takes on knowledge and learning, and synthesis them into a meaningful and fruitful unity. Is it possible or do we have to reject one view in favour of another?