|Foundation for Scientific Symbiosis||
Environment needs interdisciplinary research
Insights from different scientific
disciplines must be combined in order to understand our relation with the
environment, and to support our striving towards making this relation
sustainable. Often this notion is translated to multi/inter/trans disciplinary
research leading to a new type of science. Here the typical researcher does not
have detailed knowledge of a single discipline, but rather knows how more
general insights from various disciplines are interrelated.
Need for theoretical interdisciplinary research
Although scientific organizations
officially support interdisciplinary research, in practice official scientific
bodies are focused on traditional disciplinary research. This leads to the
development that interdisciplinary research is primarily being practiced in
applied research institutes by project-based studies for concrete problems.
Because of this situation there is relative little attention for the study of
theoretical questions within this interdisciplinary field.
We argue that there are important
theoretical questions, which require the cooperation of very distinct
disciplines. For example, to understand the self-organization of institutions
for ecosystem management, political scientists and ecologists can learn from
immunology, linguistics and computer science. Therefore the different scientific
disciplines should exchange ideas and collaborate on such multi/inter/trans
disciplinary research questions, ultimately leading towards a kind of scientific
The Foundation for Scientific Symbiosis
In supporting scientists to pass the
disciplinary borders, the Foundation for Scientific Symbiosis is founded in
December 2000. To reach these goals the Foundation will support research and to
communicate relevant scientific insights to a broader public.