An Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research: Theory and Practice

Amsterdam University Press (2016)
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This book (128 pp.) serves as an introduction and manual to guide students through the interdisciplinary research process. We are becoming increasingly aware that, as a result of technological developments and globalisation, problems are becoming so complex that they can only be solved through cooperation between multiple disciplines. Healthcare, climate change, food security, energy, financial markets and quality of life are just a few examples of issues that require scientists and academics to work in a crossdisciplinary way. As a result of these developments, an interdisciplinary approach is becoming increasingly popular in higher education and must be considered an absolute necessity. Young academics are being called on to step beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines in order to contribute to addressing fundamental problems and solving challenges facing society. There is a need for people who are not afraid to ask critical questions, who can work together well and can look beyond the boundaries of their own field. This means students need to learn more about how they can integrate and apply knowledge, methods and skills from different fields. Interdisciplinary research projects and practical training courses offer students more than one perspective on the same subject. Comparing and contrasting, connecting, adding and adapting concepts, theories and methodologies from different disciplines ultimately results in new insights and better answers to complex problems.
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