Successful Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Insights from Practice and Theory

Friday, February 17, 2012: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 212 (VCC West Building)
Grand challenges in science and society demand collaboration among researchers from multiple disciplines and nonacademic partners. Therefore, a growing number of research funding and academic programs are adopting interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches. Because traditional academic culture and incentives tend to reward individual achievement and disciplinary approaches, these interdisciplinary programs are experimenting with new modes of knowledge production and transfer, data sharing, and reward systems within a variety of institutional and cultural settings. Some collaborative projects produce transformative results for science and society, while others are plagued with team conflict, low productivity, and uncertain outcomes. This session will attempt to extract some lessons for success from this collection of experiments in interdisciplinarity. The goal is to provide practical insights from both practice and theory to inform the planning, management, and sustainability of interdisciplinary collaborations. The session aims to integrate knowledge from an interdisciplinary panel that includes leaders of successful global collaborations, academic administrators, and social and behavioral scientists who study collaborative knowledge production.

Melanie Roberts, University of Colorado
Edward G. Derrick, AAAS Science and Policy Programs
Edward G. Derrick, AAAS Science and Policy Programs
Norine Noonan, University of South Florida St. Petersburg
James P. Collins, Arizona State University
The Implications of Transformations in Scientific Practice
Denis Gray, North Carolina State University
Cross-Sector Partnerships: Lessons from Cooperative Research Centers
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