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FINTERDIS is an academic community founded in October 2018 that supports interdisciplinary research and teaching, both in Finland and abroad. FINTERDIS strives to support early career researchers (below the assistant professor level) and students in their efforts to combine different fields and approaches by collaborating with more advanced academics with interdisciplinary interests. FINTERDIS is a registered autonomous society with activities covering the whole of Finland.
University of Helsinki (HU) is ranked within the top one percent of the world’s research universities. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, it is among the top 100 institutions. But not only this is significant for many students, including foreign ones, who opt for HU. The University is actively involved in solving global problems; their interdisciplinary research, teaching and learning at a high level generate new knowledge and know-how for the benefit of humanity.
On February 17-23, 2020, on the threshold of the Siberian Arctic, in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug (KhMAO), an interdisciplinary field course "Arctic interdisciplinary research - ARCTIS2020" was organized in the Russian Arctic.
The organizers were the Association of Young Polar Scientists in Russia (APECS Russia) and the Great Britain Polar Network (UK Polar Network) in cooperation with the Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ugra State University, with the support of the UK Scientific and Innovation Network, as well as the British Embassy in Moscow.
In July 2020, an article was published on the INNOVATION magazine website. It is about Dr. Peter Beck, Professor and Coordinator of Environmental Science and Policy at St. Edward’s University, who describes tropical deforestation as a ‘wicked’ problem, and discusses the role of incentive policies in encouraging private landowners to adopt land use practices that maintain ecosystem services are working in practice. ‘Wicked’ problems involve issues, such as poverty or inequality, that are difficult to solve due to complicating factors such as incomplete knowledge, large numbers of involved actors, and interconnections with other problems.
Art conveys more than aesthetics. It can inform, illustrating complex ideas and relationships in ways that are more easily understood than long strings of specialist terms.
For example, an image can more elegantly explain how temperature variation creates different shades of red glass, the changes in eyeglass design, or how a lithium-ion battery works. In Assistant Professor of Art and Design Gökhan Ersan’s Graphic Design III class, students join scientific research with art to explain these and other complex concepts.
An article by Joshua Finkelstein, Kelly McLaughlin and Michael Levine published in The Scientist at the end of 2019 states that interdisciplinary approach is needed to crack morphogenesis. Success for physicians and biomedical researchers in repairing birth defects, inducing the regrowth of complex organs, normalizing cancer cells, and bioengineering novel living machines will hinge on first achieving a common goal: understanding how cells collaborate to build and rebuild large-scale anatomical structures.
Interdisciplinary teaching model attracts a growing number of educators around the world, both in school and in higher education. Arthur H. Goldsmith of the University of Washington has published Pedagogy in Action, an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, which can be a practical guide not only for teachers in the United States, but also in any other country.
Interdisciplinary advocates argue that a successful solution depends on a broader mindset than any discipline can offer. That is why the strategy of "cultivating a mindset that combines ideas from different points of view" is gaining more and more followers.
To make the most of the current data deluge, we must reward interdisciplinary researchers who identify and apply the most appropriate analysis methods. We quote Vicki Chandler, who is the chief program officer in science at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
"For those who want to shape the world, not just fit in", - is the School slogan.
The LIS team are a unique combination of leading academics; entrepreneurs who have built transformational businesses; and educationalists who have deep expertise in the science of learning, and experience of establishing new institutions.
What connects philosophers, linguists, and logicians? How do you develop partnerships with dozens of foreign research centres in just six months? Can science exist in isolation from the outside world? Elena Dragalina-Chernaya, Head of the International Laboratory for Logic, Linguistics, and Formal Philosophy, discusses these and other issues.
From a Local Study Group to an International Research Team
Tel Aviv University is busy breaking down barriers between faculties that previously enjoyed little interaction.
Eager to enhance their post-university employability in an increasingly hi-tech world, the evolving preferences of prospective students have led to a so-called “crisis in the humanities.”
Yet among those students that opt to pursue an education in engineering instead, it is often said that fresh graduates struggle to bridge the gap between academia and industry expectations.
On March 22, 2019 the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and Institut Curie in Paris, France, two major world-class research institutes, signed an historic partnership that will allow their teams to work closely together to improve knowledge in the field of life sciences, particularly in the areas of physics and chemistry, and most specifically - in the field of cancer research. This is a milestone in the history of these two institutes that have been working together for 15 years, particularly in the field of biophysics.
Politicians, funders and university leaders all intone the mantra of interdisciplinarity. But what does the concept really mean? Will it really yield the insights it promises? And how best can it be fostered? Here is an interesting article of Ellie Bothwell. Lee Cronin leads one of the largest interdisciplinary chemistry-based research teams in the world. His team of 65 conduct research spanning 20 different disciplines in a bid to make artificial life forms and identify alien life.
Funding methods encourage dubious behaviours.
The pressure on researchers to build large, interdisciplinary teams can lead to fake collaborations that undermine research integrity, according to two psychologists. Roy Hessles at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Alan Kingstone at the University of British Columbia in Canada say that funding agencies and institutions should make greater efforts to ensure that interdisciplinary teams applying for grants are genuine. They presented their views in a preprint posted on PsyArXiv.
Undergraduates with a pilot recruitment for the Interdisciplinary Master's program "Information Technologies, Bioinformatics and Digital Agrotechnologies" of Novosibirsk State University are successfully completing their studies in 2020. They began their studies in 2018.
The program is aimed at training highly qualified specialists in computer science and bioinformatics with knowledge in the field of selection and genetics, agricultural technology, capable of developing modern information technologies.
Based on the article of Lianghao Dai on Nature Index
It's not always intentional.
'Fake’ interdisciplinary collaborations (IDCs) happen when scientists of various disciplines put their names on a joint project application for an interdisciplinary research project, but no knowledge integration occurs, because they end up working on their individual or mono-disciplinary research separately.
Mauro Ferrari says scientists should get rid of ‘disciplinary goggles’ and combine expertise to create new fields of scientific research. At times, when talking to him, it seems there is little that could dishearten the new president of the European Research Council (ERC). At the age of 43, Mauro Ferrari moved from a successful academic career in mechanical engineering to study medicine, going on to become a founding father of the emerging field of nanomedicine, while singing and playing the saxophone in a rhythm and blues band.
Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies (2014– ) at Tampere University advances the internationally renowned and interdisciplinary work that our team in literary studies and social sciences has been doing for more than two decades.
Another example of supporting interdisciplinary research is the experience of Purdue University's Discovery Park. In the spring of 2019, the University hosted the final of the Big Idea Challenge 2.0 competition, the winners of which received initial funding for their projects aimed at solving global problems.
Talking about the experience of scientific organizations and educational institutions that seek to promote the development of interdisciplinary research at various levels, we would like to talk about the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Flanders, Belgium. In 2019, the University’s Academic Council approved the format and procedure for submitting applications for the so-called “Leuven institutes”.
The Nordic Programme for Interdisciplinary Research is a collaborative effort between the Academy of Finland, the Independent Research Fund Denmark, the Swedish Research Council, the Research Council of Norway and NordForsk.
Interdisciplinarity is widely acknowledged as essential to the generation of new and ground-breaking research results, and there is an increasingly urgent global demand for scientific research that dares to think across traditional boundaries between fields and disciplines and strives to create fertile ground for new approaches and insights.
Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.
Crossing disciplinary boundaries is unusual – and crucially important. In 1998, groundbreaking thinker and eminent biologist EO Wilson cautioned against scientific overspecialization, warning that thought silos “…must be torn down in order for humanity to progress.”
The whole world celebrates the “π” Day on March 14th (3/14). Happy Pi Day to you! :)
Higher education needs to break down the barriers that block pathways to cross-subject study
It's a normal enough question in social situations: people just trying to make conversation and ask an obvious question with an easy answer. For me, though, there's usually a bit of an awkward silence while I try to come up with a short and not-too-confusing response.
An analysis reveals the extent and impact of research that bridges disciplines.
Interdisciplinary work is considered crucial by scientists, policymakers and funders — but how widespread is it really, and what impact does it have? Scholars say that the concept is complex to define and measure, but efforts to map papers by the disciplines of the journals they appear in and by their citation patterns are — tentatively — revealing the growth and influence of interdisciplinary research.
There are considerable benefits in encouraging interdisciplinary research, particularly where the objective of the research is to achieve useful economic, social, environmental or cultural outcomes. The real world does not always present its problems and opportunities conveniently aligned with traditional academic disciplines so mechanisms are needed to facilitate interactions and collaborations between researchers working in widely different fields.
Finland is leaving behind traditional subject teaching in schools in favor of topic teaching. School subjects such as math, history and science won’t be taught distinctly anymore, and the line between subjects will be more fluid as students will be exposed to several subjects at once as proposed ‘phenomenon teaching’ sets forth.
In recent years, a new research and innovation policy regime has emerged around the need to address the great challenges of contemporary society, such as the environment, energy, infrastructure, and security.
None of these challenges follow the traditional disciplinary boundaries. They are interdisciplinary in nature and call for solutions that cut across normal academic divisions. Yet, it is still to a large extent unclear what is meant by this ‘interdisciplinary turn’. How will interdisciplinary research and innovation change the organisation and evaluation of research?
As health professions educators consider both the potential value and practical implementation of interprofessionalism in their institutions, we have much to learn from the history and growing body of literature on interdisciplinary collaboration in universities. This article focuses on definitions and forms of interdisciplinary research, as well as widely viewed benefits and drivers of interdisciplinarity. Our summer newsletter will extend this overview with a look at barriers to interdisciplinary efforts and ways to overcome them.
Interdisciplinary science must break down barriers between fields to build common ground.
In Castlegar, Canada, there is a golf shop that also offers vacuum-cleaner repairs, and in the Czech Republic town of Kostelec nad Orlicí, a business will sell you both wine and underwear. Such odd couplings are humorous because of their curiously limited scope. There is nothing funny, after all, about a megastore that repairs equipment and sells golf clubs, wine, underwear and everything else under the Sun.
Most countries, regardless of their level of income, now see research and innovation as key to fostering sustainable economic growth and furthering their development. This is one of the conclusions of the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, to be launched at UNESCO Headquarters on World Science Day, 10 November.