Today a report from the Valuing Nature Programme, led by Prof. Nicola Beaumont, has been published to explore the opportunities and challenges of interdiscipinary working.
Interdisciplinary working has been defined as 'projects that integrate both academic researchers from different unrelated disciplines and user-group participants to reach a common goal'.
Prof. Beaumont, Acting Head of Science for Sea and Society at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, comments on the report:
"To address the challenges that we face in these times of unprecedented change we need transformative approaches. Whilst focused disciplinary endeavours remain crucial to tackle these complex problems, we will also need to move beyond our usual boundaries and into the realm of interdisciplinary working."
"Working in interdisciplinary teams is not a new concept but as we are increasingly required to work beyond our own disciplines, it is worth taking some time to consider what this means and how we can do this most effectively."
"There are positives and negatives to working in this way; it is both frustrating and inspiring, time consuming and rewarding. There are also numerous barriers to interdisciplinarity including miscommunication, poor recognition and limited funding opportunities. However the overriding consensus of recent surveys and discussions is that interdisciplinary working is needed now more than ever, and despite its challenges, it is a highly worthwhile pursuit."
"To support interdisciplinary working we have drawn together a wealth of experiences to create the 'Demystify Interdisciplinary Working' report. This explains the why, what and how of interdisciplinary working, and includes the positives and negatives, barriers and solutions, with an aim to smooth the path to more effective interdisciplinary working. This also includes 7 core principles with accompanying top tips as a succinct guide to interdisciplinary success".