Should we discipline interdisciplinarity?


Could we overcome the challenges of embedding interdisciplinarity in the academic mainstream if relevant expertise were defined and recognised as a new discipline? Such expertise includes the ability to combine knowledge from different disciplines, as well as to assess which disciplines and stakeholders have relevant perspectives, figure out how elements of problems are interconnected, decide how to deal with critical unknowns, and use research to support evidence-based change. A new discipline of integration and implementation sciences (I2S) would codify such knowledge and skills, especially for dealing with complex societal and environmental problems. It would operate in an analogous way to the discipline of statistics, as a: (1) collaborative hub within teams, (2) focus for dedicated methods journals and (3) lobby group for effective application. Key initial tasks are to develop a repository of currently hard-to-access methods, and an identifiable academic community; both guided by a unifying and motivating vision of where disciplining interdisciplinarity will lead.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Palgrave Communications

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