Interdisciplinarity is the talk of the town. Funding agencies favour interdisciplinary research proposals, teaching programmes focus on developing interdisciplinary courses, and the publication of interdisciplinary studies has surged over recent decades. Lakshmi Balachandran Nair considers whether interdisciplinarity remains a strategy to surpass the limits of the methodological tools, theories, and views offered by a single discipline or has instead become […]
Doing research for (and not on) development: some important questions for the Global Challenges Research Fund
The Global Challenges Research Fund has an impressively wide-ranging research agenda, covering a range of development issues. But as well as funding research on development, Ajoy Datta argues the fund should promote understanding of how to undertake research for development too. This requires academics to have specific skills and experience of working effectively with colleagues and partners in the Global […]
What can interdisciplinary collaborations learn from the science of team science?
Teamwork makes the dream work, and for interdisciplinary collaborations there are many lessons to be learned from the science of team science. Suzi Spitzer shares ten such lessons here: start by assembling participants with a variety of social skills, such as negotiation and social perceptiveness; avoid jargon and make sure shared words have shared meaning; and accept that conflict, while […]
A more interdisciplinary approach can help us understand why research evidence does or doesn’t make it into policy
Effective communication of research is often cited as being most important to gaining the attention of policymakers. This arguably underestimates the sheer complexity of the policymaking process, assuming a linear route from evidence to policy and practice. Fiona Blyth and Carmen Huckel Schneider explain why breaking down walls between different academic disciplines could enhance our understanding of why research evidence […]
Moving interdisciplinary research forward: Top down organising force needed to help classify diverse practices.
What does “interdisciplinarity” actually mean? Gabriele Bammer argues lumping interdisciplinary work together may be prohibiting an effective evaluation of how this kind of research is faring. A much more intuitive approach is needed to distinguishing between aspects of diverse research practices. Furthermore, developing effective professional organisations is also a key task for moving interdisciplinary research forward. In a recent special issue of the journal […]
Book Review: Kittler Now: Current Perspectives in Kittler Studies
Friedrich Kittler was one of the world’s most influential, provocative and misunderstood media theorists. His work spans analyses of historical ‘discourse networks’ inspired by French poststructuralism, influential theorisations of new media, through to musings on music and mathematics. Niall Flynn notes how Kittler himself defied familiar understandings of interdisciplinary research and challenges established research models. The best essays in this volume, Flynn argues, […]
“Who would want to live in a world made up entirely of scientists?” Australia’s Chief Scientist calls for cooperation
Reporting on a recent workshop where Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb outlined the key priorities for research and funding, Jacqui Hoepner discusses the long-term future of Australian research. Professor Chubb stressed the importance of having a broader national conversation about how they will achieve societal change and how researchers should work to meet those ends. A few weeks ago Australia’s […]
Iteration, Iteration, Iteration: Digital public archaeology and the presentation of online research
Having recently completed her PhD on participatory digital technologies and widening participation in the discipline of archaeology, Lorna Richardson considers the interplay between her research and her own academic practice. The impact of the many discussions she had through various online platforms on the subject of social media, archaeology and Internet technologies had an iterative effect on her work and on her methods […]
Publishers respond to growing need for collaboration by offering an open access home for interdisciplinary research.
The new journal Palgrave Communications aims to support interdisciplinary development by offering a high-quality outlet for research in the humanities, the social sciences and business, hoping to foster interaction, creativity and reflection within and between disciplines. Sam Burridge provides an initial overview of the new outlet. But developing truly collaborative research takes time, a feature with little appreciation in funding and policy demands, […]
Entrenched biases and structural incentives limit the influence of interdisciplinary research.
Due to unequal funding streams and leadership structures, dominant frameworks emerge within interdisciplinary departments. Elizabeth Dzeng shares her experience in the field of medical social science where the drive to publish in high impact journals pushes researchers to conform to predominantly objectivist … Continue reading →