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Survey highlights barriers to interdisciplinary environmental science
Date:8/21/2013

s and thought that institutional barriers were more significant than interpersonal ones. Researchers reported, for example, concerns that they were seen as "spreading out too much."

The results make clear that achieving the goal of working together as a single unit with researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds is often hard to achieve. Roy and his colleagues conclude that "many academic departments and institutions have yet to sufficiently encourage and reward the necessary pragmatic environmental synthesis work" for contemporary environmental questions. They suggest that a balance of disciplinary expertise and integration appears necessary to the perception of success by others, and that increased emphasis on interdisciplinary integration should occur not only in graduate education, but at the undergraduate level, as well. The authors also suggest that challenges be discussed at the outset of a project, and that administrators and faculty recognize that conducting interdisciplinary work will often temporarily slow the rate at which a researcher publishesalthough over the long term such work will typically lead to many publications.


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Contact: Tim Beardsley
tbeardsley@aibs.org
703-674-2500 x326
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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