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An accessible and enjoyable guide to interdisciplinary research from a leading academic in urban science.
In Being Interdisciplinary, Alan Wilson draws on five decades as a leading figure in urban science to set out a systems approach to interdisciplinarity for those conducting research in this and other fields. He argues that most research is interdisciplinary at its base and that a systems perspective is particularly appropriate for collaboration because it fosters an outlook that sees beyond disciplines. A systems approach enables researchers to identify the game-changers of the past as a basis for thinking outside of convention, for learning how to do something new and how to be ambitious.
Building on this systems focus, the book first establishes the basics of interdisciplinarity. Then, by drawing on the author’s wide experience in interdisciplinary research—as a researcher in urban science, a university professor and vice-chancellor, a civil servant, and an institute director, it illustrates general principles and a framework from which researchers can build their own interdisciplinary approach. In the last section, the book tackles questions of managing and organizing research from individual to institutional scales.
About the Author
Alan Wilson is director of special projects at the Alan Turing Institute and was its founding Chief Executive. He is the author of several books, including The Science of Cities and Regions and Knowledge Power.