Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts
Fostering Interdisciplinary Research
November 1, 2006
"...creativity in science, as in the arts, cannot be organized. It arises spontaneously from individual talent. Well-run laboratories can foster it, but hierarchical organization, inflexible, bureaucratic rules, and mountains for futile paperwork can kill it. Discoveries cannot be planned; they pop up, like Puck, in unexpected corners."
— Max Perutz.
This essay from the 2005 Research Corporation Annual Report explores the critical obstacles to shaping interdisciplinary environments for research in scientific fields. These include:
- existing institutional structures
- tenure and promotion criteria
- the education and training of the researchers of tomorrow
- issues of communication, including time and space
- funding organizations and peer review.
The options presented for overcoming those obstacles range from attention at the undergraduate level to shaping innovative spaces to foster communication.