Interdisciplinary research: fad or practical solution?

Is interdisciplinarity a fad or a practical solution to private and public troubles?

Philosophers, historians, geographers, psychologists and literary scholars from around the world gather at UBC's Green College this month to discuss the future of interdisciplinary teaching and research.

The two-day international conference, Practicing Interdisciplinarity: Nurturing Environments for Interdisciplinary Research, will attract representatives from interdisciplinary centres throughout the U.S., Australia, Germany, Sweden, England, the Netherlands, France, and Canada.

"The conference is motivated by the renewed interest in interdisciplinarity, its opportunities, and its institutional obstacles, both in academia and science policy," says conference organizer Nico Stehr.

Stehr, a social scientist and fellow of Green College, says presentations will examine attempts to establish interdisciplinary research centres within and outside universities. The conference will address why such centres are established, what notions of interdisciplinarity are, how these notions translate into action and perceived successes and failures of interdisciplinary initiatives.

The conference opens Friday, March 21 at 10:30 in Green College's Graham House and closes on the afternoon of March 22 at the Museum of Anthropology.

Green College, UBC's first residential college for graduate students, is a focal point for interdisciplinary scholarship on campus.