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Academia: A brake on UN development goals
Date:1/17/2013

Head of the HEMIL Centre at the University of Bergen (UiB), Maurice Mittelmark, has now received support from the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) to improve this communication. WUN awards start-up funds to promising research projects amongst its members. The funding provides the researchers to compete for major funding and build a larger international platform for their work.

Both UiB applicants in this year's WUN allocation received funding. One of these is Mittelmark's Bridging Health Promotion and Sustainability Science, and the aim is to improve interdisciplinary researcher communication. The project is a collaboration between three UiB research environments: the Department of Health Promotion and Development, UiB Global, and the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP).

Specialisation is the path to scientific progress. But poor communication and lack of cooperation are side effects of the traditional divisions in academia. This hinders optimal solutions to several of the planet's most serious social issues, says Mittelmark.

Dialogue between researchers

According to Mittelmark, progress has been made in environmental research and global health research in the last few years. Yet traditional boundaries in academia prevent a full-scale effect of this progress. Environmental researchers and health researchers far too often find themselves fenced in behind tradition, institute, and faculty.

If allowed to continue, this is bad news for the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDG), he says and points to areas such as improved mother and child health care or eradication of extreme poverty as areas that would benefit from a less rigorous approach from academia.

The first task of Mittelmark's project is to get researchers from different disciplines to enter into a proper dialogue on shared issues.

If we can get the researchers to talk, then the next step will be to create a coor
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Contact: Maurice Mittelmark
Maurice.Mittelmark@iuh.uib.no
47-951-39225
The University of Bergen
Source:Eurekalert  

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