SciTS 2011 Conference: Sessions

Cross-disciplinarity: Old and New Problems and Perspectives (Panel)

Wednesday, April 13  •  8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and transdisciplinarity are widely invoked in the rhetoric of academic institutions today. This panel will question the assumption that we are currently in the midst of a "golden age" for new forms of research. The panel will first frame the question historically by examining the origins and course of "interdisciplinary" initiatives that began in the United States in the 1920s, primarily through the Social Science Research Council with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York. This examination will consider both the fate of such initiatives and implications of historical scholarship and analysis for current and future efforts—in the United States and elsewhere—to sustain creative multi, inter-, and transdisciplinary team science. Next, the presenters will situate the question in the career reward system, where individuals too often find their collaborative work impeded, discounted, or marginalized. An overview of barriers to tenure and promotion in institutional structures and policies will be followed by current models, strategies, and guidelines for professional development throughout the career life cycle. Finally, the panel will address how researchers engaged in collaborative team science define transdisciplinary research and their perspectives on transdisciplinary processes and outcomes, as well as how cross-disciplinary research orientation relates to researchers’ collaboration networks. The panel will conclude by suggesting core principles and implications for studying transdisciplinary research.

  • Kara Hall, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health, Program Officer, National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Behavioral Research Program
  • Frank Kessel, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, Senior Fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy and Professor of Early Childhood Multicultural Education
  • Julie Thompson Klein, Ph.D., Wayne State University, Professor of Humanities, Interdisciplinary Studies Program

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Panelists

Kara L. Hall
Kara L. Hall

Kara L. Hall, Ph.D. is a health scientist in the Office of the Associate Director of the Behavioral Research Program in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) working in the areas of behavioral science, dissemination and implementation science and the science of team science. During her career, Dr. Hall has participated in a variety of interdisciplinary clinical and research endeavors. Her research has focused on the development of behavioral science methodologies such as the design of survey protocols, meta-analytic techniques for health behavior theory testing, as well as on applications of health behavior theory to multiple content areas and the development of computerized tailored interventions to foster health promotion and disease prevention behaviors. Additionally, Dr. Hall leads the DCCPS science of team science team, focused on advancing the field by developing new metrics, measures and models for understanding and evaluating transdisciplinary research, collaboration and training - specifically in the context of large research initiatives. Dr. Hall served as a co-chair for the 2006 conference “The Science of Team Science: Assessing the Value of Transdisciplinary Research” and co-editor for the recent American Journal of Preventive Medicine Special Supplement on the Science of Team Science. Dr. Hall earned her Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Rhode Island.

Frank Kessel
Frank Kessel

Frank Kessel, Ph.D. is a health scientist in the Office of the Associate Director of the Behavioral Research Program in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) working in the areas of behavioral science, dissemination and implementation science and the science of team science. During her career, Dr. Hall has participated in a variety of interdisciplinary clinical and research endeavors. Her research has focused on the development of behavioral science methodologies such as the design of survey protocols, meta-analytic techniques for health behavior theory testing, as well as on applications of health behavior theory to multiple content areas and the development of computerized tailored interventions to foster health promotion and disease prevention behaviors. Additionally, Dr. Hall leads the DCCPS science of team science team, focused on advancing the field by developing new metrics, measures and models for understanding and evaluating transdisciplinary research, collaboration and training - specifically in the context of large research initiatives. Dr. Hall served as a co-chair for the 2006 conference “The Science of Team Science: Assessing the Value of Transdisciplinary Research” and co-editor for the recent American Journal of Preventive Medicine Special Supplement on the Science of Team Science. Dr. Hall earned her Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Rhode Island.

Julie Thompson Klein
Julie Thompson Klein

Julie Thompson Klein, Ph.D., is Professor of Humanities at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan (USA) and an internationally known scholar of the history, theory, and practice of interdisciplinarity. Past president of the Association for Integrative Studies and former editor of the journal Issues in Integrative Studies, she is a member of the Academy of Scholars at Wayne State University and has received several of the University’s highest awards for excellence in teaching and research. She also won the final prize in the Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Foundation's international competition for new research models and received the Kenneth Boulding Award for outstanding scholarship on interdisciplinarity and the Ramamoorthy & Yeh Transdiscipilnary Distinguished Achievement Award. Klein was a Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and has held invited posts in Canada, Japan, Nepal, and New Zealand. In addition, she represented the United States at international symposia on interdisciplinarity in Sweden, Portugal, and France, and has lectured on the topic throughout Europe, North America, Latin America, and in Australia. She also served on a number of national task forces in interdisciplinary and integrative studies and has advised committees of the US National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and National Academies of Sciences. Her authored and edited books include Interdisciplinarity: History, Theory, and Practice (l990), Interdisciplinary Studies Today (1994), Crossing Boundaries: Knowledge, Disciplinarities, and Interdisciplinarities (1996), Transdisciplinarity: Joint Problem Solving among Science, Technology, and Society (2001), Interdisciplinary Education in K-12 and College (2002), the monograph Mapping Interdisciplinary Studies (1999), Humanities, Culture, and Interdisciplinarity: The Changing American Academy (2005), and Creating Interdisciplinary Campus Cultures (2010). She is also Associate Editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity (2010),is Co-Editor of the University of Michigan Press series Digital [email protected], and is currently writing a book on “Mapping Digital Humanities.”