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Bill Brydon

A Masterclass in Interdisciplinarity: Research into practice in training the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers - 0 views

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    "This paper draws on evaluations of a number of interdisciplinary studentship and fellowship schemes to discuss some of the challenges of developing interdisciplinary research skills in early career researchers. It describes efforts to support such capacity-building in the UK through a series of interdisciplinary Masterclasses which used workshop-based elicitation techniques to develop smallscale studies in order to synthesise experiential knowledge and foster mutual learning. This has enabled us to build important bridges between research and practice, thereby supporting and developing the interdisciplinary careers of early- and mid-career researchers, as well as research managers and leaders. This paper describes an approach to interdisciplinary capacity-building derived from actual practice. Based on learning from these activities, we offer some suggestions for improved supervision and mentoring of interdisciplinary graduate students and young postdoctoral researchers. If we are to develop effective, future interdisciplinary capacity, we advocate that supervisors/mentors need to focus, not just on the research, but on the particular forms of professional support and mentoring required by inexperienced interdisciplinary researchers in terms of career guidance, the development of publications strategies and network building"
Bill Brydon

The (Im)possibility of Interdisciplinarity: Lessons from Constructing a Theoretical Framework for Digital Ecosystems - Culture, Theory and Critique - Volume 52, Issue 1 - 0 views

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    "This paper reflects critically on challenges and opportunities associated with developing a theoretical framework for an interdisciplinary Framework Programme 6 research project funded by the European Commission in the area of digital ecosystems. The paper first provides a description of the interdisciplinary structure of the research agenda of the project and the areas of digital ecosystem research prioritised by each discipline. Second, it discusses the challenging questions of epistemology that arose in the context of theorising interdisciplinary research and provides a summary of how these were dealt with in order to outline a theoretical framework for digital ecosystems research by the end of the project. Finally, it discusses the lessons that can be extrapolated from the project experience, arguing that it is impossible to develop a unified interdisciplinary theoretical framework due to irreconcilable epistemological differences, yet it is possible and very worthwhile for those adhering to various disciplinary perspectives to collaborate towards the achievement of a practical joint endeavour. These lessons, which are considered valuable to the broader research community, are summarised in a model of the (im)possibility of interdisciplinarity."
Bill Brydon

Student socialization in interdisciplinary doctoral education - Higher Education - 0 views

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    Interdisciplinary approaches are often seen as necessary for attacking the most critical challenges facing the world today, and doctoral students and their training programs are recognized as central to increasing Interdisciplinary research capacity. However, the traditional culture and organization of higher education are ill-equipped to facilitate Interdisciplinary work. This study employs a lens of socialization to study the process through which students learn the norms, values, and culture of both traditional disciplines and integrated knowledge production. It concludes that many of the processes of socialization are similar, but that special attention should be paid to overcoming organizational barriers to interdisciplinarity related to policies, space, engagement with future employers, and open discussion of the politics of interdisciplinarity.
Bill Brydon

The Road from Interdisciplinary Studies to Complexity - World Futures - Volume 67, Issue 4-5 - 0 views

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    The founder of the profession of interdisciplinary studies revisits the intellectual odyssey he undertook in developing a theory of interdisciplinary studies, which eventually led him to complex systems theory. The precise relationship between complex systems and interdisciplinary studies is probed and the implications of that relationship for both theories are critically examined.
Bill Brydon

Pedagogy - Teaching Interdisciplinarity - 0 views

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    "This essay addresses the question of how to best teach interdisciplinarity through a detailed discussion of a common upper-division gateway course for multiple majors housed in an interdisciplinary studies unit. It argues for a shift in the problematic within which discussions of interdisciplinary pedagogy generally take place by emphasizing the practice of interdisciplinarity itself."
Bill Brydon

Cultivating Collaborators: Concepts and Questions Emerging Interactively from an Evolving, Interdisciplinary Workshop - Science as Culture - 0 views

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    We report here on a series of interaction-intensive, interdisciplinary workshops to foster collaboration among those who teach, study, and engage with the public about scientific developments and social change-the New England Workshop on Science and Social Change. We include one line of thinking that fed into the workshops and present an analysis of how they contribute to participants developing their interest and skills in collaboration. Workshop evaluations suggest that people are moved to develop themselves as collaborators when they view an experience or training as transformative. Four R's-respect, risk, revelation, and re-engagement-point to the important conditions for interactions among researchers to be experienced as transformative. Three considerations lie behind the focus on the process side of the workshops, not the specific workshop topics: (1) how best to fill in for readers what they missed out on by not being there; (2) workshops and meetings are a ubiquitous part of the culture of science and technology studies (STS) so it is valuable to examine this aspect of our own culture with a view to promoting positive changes; and (3) in some scientific fields organized multi-person collaborative processes form a highly valorized aspect of the culture of science, so reflection on experiences of participation and collaboration in STS might inform our analyses of fields that emphasize collaboration and group processes. Indeed, the authors' own involvement in the workshops extends our own STS work on actor networks and 'heterogeneous engineering', that is, the mobilization of a variety of resources by diverse agents spanning different realms of social action.
Bill Brydon

Cultivating Collaborators: Concepts and Questions Emerging Interactively from an Evolving, Interdisciplinary Workshop - Science as Culture - 0 views

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    We report here on a series of interaction-intensive, interdisciplinary workshops to foster collaboration among those who teach, study, and engage with the public about scientific developments and social change-the New England Workshop on Science and Social Change. We include one line of thinking that fed into the workshops and present an analysis of how they contribute to participants developing their interest and skills in collaboration. Workshop evaluations suggest that people are moved to develop themselves as collaborators when they view an experience or training as transformative. Four R's-respect, risk, revelation, and re-engagement-point to the important conditions for interactions among researchers to be experienced as transformative.
Bill Brydon

Methodological Higher-Level Interdisciplinarity by Scheme-Interpretationism: Against Methodological Separatism of the Natural, Social, and Human Sciences - 0 views

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    It is well known that most of the topical problems of our times cannot be addressed in clean disciplinary separations or total disciplinary make-up, but they are only successfully to be addressed in interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary or even superdisciplinary manner. For instance, ecological problems are not just natural science questions, but of course they are not only cultural or social humanities problem areas either. In the overriding and comprehensive problems of our society and age we encounter a complex of not only internal interaction and interconnection if not mashing of the prospective disciplinary areas. We need more abstract plus disciplinary methods, disciplines and technologies, so to speak generalized operational techniques in order to get a more formal or abstract or methodological perspective we will discuss below.
Bill Brydon

Learning Interdisciplinarity: Service Learning and the Promise of Interdisciplinary Teaching - 0 views

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    "The authors explore the challenges inherent in traversing the multiple boundaries between sociology and social work, and the academy and the community, by examining a service learning course on hunger and homelessness taught by two sociology professors and two social workers on the staff of a community service organization. The authors draw on instructional team meetings and correspondence, observation of class sessions, and formal and informal course evaluations to analyze three "moments": the planning process, a pivotal class session, and students' final presentations. They found that both their teaching and students' learning were enriched by disciplinary differences in knowledge claims, the design and utility of qualitative research, and the process of drawing conclusions from, and making arguments using, qualitative data. The authors conclude that experiential learning has value beyond providing students hands-on experiences. It can also provide a laboratory in which students and instructors can explore the similarities and differences between sociology, social work, and other disciplines."
Bill Brydon

Mapping Change in Large Networks - 1 views

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    "Change is a fundamental ingredient of interaction patterns in biology, technology, the economy, and science itself: Interactions within and between organisms change; transportation patterns by air, land, and sea all change; the global financial flow changes; and the frontiers of scientific research change. Networks and clustering methods have become important tools to comprehend instances of these large-scale structures, but without methods to distinguish between real trends and noisy data, these approaches are not useful for studying how networks change. Only if we can assign significance to the partitioning of single networks can we distinguish meaningful structural changes from random fluctuations. Here we show that bootstrap resampling accompanied by significance clustering provides a solution to this problem. To connect changing structures with the changing function of networks, we highlight and summarize the significant structural changes with alluvial diagrams and realize de Solla Price's vision of mapping change in science: studying the citation pattern between about 7000 scientific journals over the past decade, we find that neuroscience has transformed from an interdisciplinary specialty to a mature and stand-alone discipline."
Bill Brydon

Memory and nationalism: the case of Universitas Indonesia - Inter-Asia Cultural Studies - Volume 12, Issue 4 - 0 views

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    "As the only state university that bears the name of the country, the Universitas Indonesia (UI) has played an important role in the history of the Indonesian nationalist movement for over half a century. Now located at two sites, one in the center of the city and the other on the outskirts, the history of this leading state university-its architecture and location, as well as its campus life and student movement-reflects the clashes of various forces and competing ideologies. This study looks at the relationship between public space and nationalism in Universitas Indonesia in an interdisciplinary perspective. It relates architecture and urban history with the operations of power and memory in a campus, which is seen both as an arena of struggle as well as containment. In that sense the campus is a reflection of public space in a broader sense. This paper raises a question about the kind of civic space emerging from the tension between the physical structure and environment of the campuses and the inner space of campus politics and students movement."
Bill Brydon

The Rise of 'Convergence' Science - Inside Higher Ed - 0 views

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    Advances in medicine and biotechnology -- from the sequencing of the human genome to the development of small chips to detect cancer in the bloodstream -- were driven largely by scientists coming together from diverse disciplines to work on common problems. But a blue ribbon panel said here Tuesday that these advances also signify something larger: the creation of a new model -- dubbed "convergence" -- in which engineering and physical sciences, among other disciplines, join forces with the life sciences.
Bill Brydon

Choosing whether to resist or reinforce the new managerialism: the impact of performance-based research funding on academic identity - Higher Education Research & Development - 0 views

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    This article uses four academics' gendered and cultural responses to life in a university in Aotearoa New Zealand under the new managerialist regime. Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) requires academics to submit evidence-based portfolios every six years to categorise and rank them, with government funding assigned accordingly. When the authors met as members of a writing group, the talk often turned to negative aspects of PBRF. Using co-operative enquiry, the four co-researchers began writing observations of their individual experiences, differences and identities to help them reflect and understand the impact of the changed environment. The four phases of writing as enquiry were: deciding on a focus, writing observations, engaging with the written accounts and interpreting the outcome through metaphor. The article process facilitated a positive outcome by helping the authors regain a sense of collegiality and mutual support, along with a sense of preserving their academic identity by writing and publishing as a group.
Bill Brydon

There is no 'universal' knowledge, intercultural collaboration is indispensable - Social Identities - 0 views

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    Within some significant circles, where hegemonic representations of the idea of 'science' are produced, certain orientations of scientific research are carried out, and science and higher education policies are made and applied, references to the alleged existence of two kinds of knowledge, one of which would have 'universal' validity, and 'the other' (in fact the several others) would not, are frequent and do have crucial effects over our academic work. Although some outstanding authors within the very Western tradition have criticized from varied perspectives such universalist ambitions/assumptions, and although many colleagues have reached convergent conclusions from diverse kinds of practices and experiences, such hegemonic representations of the idea of science are still current. The acknowledgment of this situation calls for a deep debate. This article responds to such a purpose by attempting to integrate into the debate a reflection on the shortcomings of hegemonic academic knowledge to understand social processes profoundly marked by cultural differences, historical conflicts and inequalities, as well as significant perspectives formulated by some outstanding intellectuals who self-identify as indigenous, and the experiences of some indigenous intercultural universities from several Latin American countries.
Bill Brydon

Is interdisciplinarity old news? A disciplined consideration of interdisciplinarity - British Journal of Sociology of Education - Volume 33, Issue 1 - 0 views

  • This paper draws on the theory of Basil Bernstein and on more recent applications of it by Rob Moore, John Beck and Michael Young to respond to recent calls for the replacement of discipline-based university faculties and departments with ‘problem-based’ curricula and programmes of study. It considers, particularly, the potential consequences of such a shift in higher education policy for the identities of university teachers, researchers and students, and suggests that these calls for reform are premised especially on the problematic assumption that, in Bernsteinian terms, ‘regionalised’ curricular inputs can be expected to produce ‘generic’ knowledge outcomes within the university.
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    "This paper draws on the theory of Basil Bernstein and on more recent applications of it by Rob Moore, John Beck and Michael Young to respond to recent calls for the replacement of discipline-based university faculties and departments with 'problem-based' curricula and programmes of study. It considers, particularly, the potential consequences of such a shift in higher education policy for the identities of university teachers, researchers and students, and suggests that these calls for reform are premised especially on the problematic assumption that, in Bernsteinian terms, 'regionalised' curricular inputs can be expected to produce 'generic' knowledge outcomes within the university."
Bill Brydon

Interactive planning for strategy development in academic-based cooperative research enterprises - Technology Analysis & Strategic Management - Volume 24, Issue 1 - 0 views

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    "The evolution of strategic management concludes that formulation and implementation is an emergent process. In today's knowledge-based society this requires that managers develop more creative ways to align strategies with core competencies to maximise organisational performance and efficiencies. This paper evaluates the approach taken by a university-based research collaborative to illustrate an integrated planning process that supports strategic management in higher education environments. Utilising the concepts of road mapping and interactive planning, this case study provides insights into the participative approach used and provides a modification of several conceptual models to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of this process."
Bill Brydon

Collaboration Talk: The Folk Theories of Nano Research - Science as Culture - - 0 views

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    "The nano initiative in the US and elsewhere encourages and promotes various forms of multi-stakeholder activities, such as industrial collaborations. Forming part of the discourse of expectations around emerging technologies, collaboration is an important resource holding together different practices of knowledge production. In the conversations between policy and science, collaboration becomes a measurable entity and a measure in itself, figuring in the evaluations of the performance of individual faculty and research centres; however, the policy metaphor of 'collaboration' stands for a variety of different forms and shapes of interactions between university and industry. From a discourse analysis perspective, 'folk theories' of nano collaboration help to explore the dynamics of the university/industry boundary in the scientific organisational discourse as in a recent series of interactions with scientists, university officials and technology transfer officers in a number of US universities. What does the introduction of the new entity (nano) mean for scientists, and for university practices of technology transfer and commercialisation, in terms of trying to accommodate individual 'nano' cases into university regulations and procedures? How are these practices and experiences discussed in terms of collaboration? Assessments of value of collaboration ranged between polarised views, raising questions about occasions, audiences and communities of assessors invoked in the construction of acceptable accounts of nano collaboration. Metaphors and analogies were used to mobilise specific meanings in the discourses of the innovative potential of emerging fields. As such, assessments of the potential of terms pertinent to the emerging discourses, such as collaboration, would be better based on the assumption of shared meanings, not fixed and given, but actively achieved."
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