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Andrea Evers on interdisciplinarity in science
What is interdisciplinary research and which
opportunities and barriers are connected to it?
Professor Andrea Evers, chair of the Health,
Medical and Neuropsychology unit of Leiden
University, is one of the copywriters of a
publication on this topic, published by De Jonge
Akademie (The Young Academy).
Opportunities and barriers
Grensverleggend: kansen en belemmeringen voor interdisciplinair onderzoek (Groundbreaking: opportunities and barriers for interdisciplinary research) shows the many opportunities interdisciplinary research offers, but also the obstacles that (still) exist, for example that funding bodies and universities focus on defined fields of research. However, interdisciplinary research offers many advantages. It changes scientific identity, by producing new questions, methods and results, and in that way generates knowledge that can contribute to a solution for societal problems. Reason enough to remove the barriers.
The authors put forward several recommendations on how to stimulate interdisciplinarity. One of their suggestions is that universities could reward interdisciplinary initiatives by creating budget for it. Another recommendation is that they can create visiting scholarships or visiting professorships for scientists who wish to gain knowledge in other fields.
You can find the publication on the ScienceGuide website (in Dutch).