Posts Tagged ‘humanities’

Interdisciplinarity

18 November 2009

image MC 01Contributed by Michael Cronin

Interdisciplinarity is the common coin of public rhetoric on research. Like a ritual votive offering to placate the restless petulance of funders, public and private, it is has its appointed place in any number of mission statements, strategic plans and research proposals. Nobody is quite sure why it is there but there is general agreement that interdisciplinarity is a GOOD THING. So while the I-word is a must for any statement about the value and future of research there is remarkably little public debate about what it actually means and whether the tins on which it is so prominently displayed do any of the things they purport to do. More worryingly, for young researchers there is a clear disparity between institutional spin on the value of interdisciplinarity and the harsh reality of recruitment and promotion mechanisms which are still clearly rooted in established disciplines.

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