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Differing Views on interdisciplinarity in the human and social sciences

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Lund K, Frandji D. Differing Views on interdisciplinarity in the human and social sciences. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 13, 2017. Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks for Understanding Team Science. Online at:

Interdisciplinarity in human and social sciences is not yet well understood, to the extent of the plurality and the heterogeneity of the meanings covered by this notion. If researchers work together from disciplines that are seen as close together by outsiders, their interdisciplinarity is often not acknowledged by institutions. “Real” interdisciplinarity — a curious term — is often seen as occurring between disciplines that are very far apart in theories, methods, goals, and object of study. But what is “real” interdisciplinarity? How can science that is founded on multiple disciplines be “close” or “far apart”? We aim to clarify these notions by questioning what they cover in sciences that are interested in educational phenomena. Our argument, founded on the analysis of a corpus of research projects and their evaluations, aims to show that only using disciplines to categorize interdisciplinarity does not suffice in order to make significant progress involving these questions. Over and above disciplinary Day 2: Tuesday, June 13 Abstracts 46 SciTS 2017 Conference: Building the knowledge base for effective team science. boundaries, the key questions concern transversal dimensions that are more fundamental to knowledge and are focused rather on mobilized social ontologies and the knowledge interests (Habermas, 1973) they suppose. The new French interdisciplinary laboratory of education at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon funded two calls for projects in 2016 involving local researchers mainly from sociology, history, political science, educational science, and language sciences. Our analyses of submissions show that the epistemological and ontological assumptions that researchers use to both present and evaluate interdisciplinarity do not fall so clearly fall into disciplinary boundaries. Our results help advance the field of the Science of Team Science in that we show how assumptions about interdisciplinarity is not solely explained by the discipline with which one identifies, both from a researcher and evaluator perspective.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


scits 2017 conference, presentation

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Establish or maintain effective team science endeavors
  • Engage community partners in your scientific team
  • Collaborate virtually

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Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/3/2017 10:19:30 AM.

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