Interdisciplinarity has become a buzzword in academia, as research universities funnel their financial resources toward collaborations between faculty in different disciplines. In theory, interdisciplinary collaboration breaks down artificial divisions between different departments, allowing more innovative and sophisticated research to flourish. But does it actually work this way in practice? Investigating Interdisciplinary Collaboration puts the common beliefs about such research to the test, using empirical data gathered by scholars from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The book’s contributors critically interrogate the assumptions underlying the fervor for interdisciplinarity. Their attentive scholarship reveals how, for all its potential benefits, interdisciplinary collaboration is neither immune to academia’s status hierarchies, nor a simple antidote to the alleged shortcomings of disciplinary study.
Chapter 10 is available Open Access here (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK395883)
About the Author
SCOTT FRICKEL is an associate professor of sociology and environment and society at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He is author of Chemical Consequences: Environmental Mutagens and the Rise of Genetic Toxicology and coeditor of The New Political Sociology of Science and Fields of Knowledge. MATHIEU ALBERT is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and a scientist in the Wilson Centre for Research in Education at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. BARBARA PRAINSACK is a professor in the department of social science, health and medicine at King’s College London in the United Kingdom. She is the author or coauthor of several books including Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond.
"A most welcome contribution, filled with richly detailed case studies conducted by a stellar array of scholars. This volume scrutinizes key assumptions of the case for interdisciplinarity." — Jerry A. Jacobs
"Interdisciplinary collaboration has been established as valuable to scientific creativity and vital to bringing knowledge effectively to major public issues. But discussion of what this means and how it works are still too often vague. This book will help, because it offers thoughtful and indeed disciplined case studies of how interdisciplinary collaboration works in practice." — Craig Calhoun
"This high quality volume makes a crucial contribution to our empirical understanding of the worlds of interdisciplinarity at a time when they are generating a great deal of interest from funding agencies, academic administrators and scholars alike. This book should be required reading for all concerned." — Michele Lamont