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.
Supported by the ARC Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects Funding this project addresses two outstanding problems: the application of interdisciplinary research to the broad, problem-based research and how to use this understanding to find effective ways of approaching the array of challenges confronting Australia.
The project comprises four components over three years:
A complex array of disparate but interlinked phenomena such as: population growth, the security of water and food supplies, energy use, urban infrastructure development, social harmony, and even refugee policy (with further complexity arising from the variability that may be induced by climate change) requires the integrated application of knowledge and understanding from all branches of academe (the natural sciences and technology, engineering, humanities, social sciences and the arts) to achieve workable solutions that will contribute to a sustainable future for Australia.
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