Enhancing Communication & Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research

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Enhancing Communication & Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research

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Review

“This book integrates a number of issues within interdisciplinary studies in new and interesting ways.  It makes highly theoretical material accessible with an engaging style that is scholarly without being stuffy.  The author is clearly well versed in science, philosophy, and higher education and achieves a balance across that learning.

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Review

“This book integrates a number of issues within interdisciplinary studies in new and interesting ways.  It makes highly theoretical material accessible with an engaging style that is scholarly without being stuffy.  The author is clearly well versed in science, philosophy, and higher education and achieves a balance across that learning. One of its great strengths is its explanations of very complex theoretical issues in language that it is possible for a well-educated person to understand without a disciplinary background in philosophy.”  (Betsy Greenleaf Yarrison 2013-03-15)“The breadth is one of its strengths. There are a large number of approaches that include analysis of quantitative data, very detailed case studies, philosophical analysis, perspectives of administration and organization of universities, and collaborations between researchers and community members outside academia, just to name a few. These varied approaches force readers to think beyond the perhaps narrow aspects of interdisciplinary communication that affect their own research or teaching or programs. That is a welcome challenge.” (Angela Hunter 2013-03-15)“The text is extensively researched and well organized.  The author/authors have also managed to bring in historical elements in higher education, as well as current thinking in the field.” (Dr. Gladys Palma de Schrynemakers 2013-03-15)

About the Author

Michael O’Rourke is Professor of Philosophy and faculty in AgBioResearch at Michigan State University. His research interests include environmental philosophy, the nature of epistemic integration and communication in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, and the nature of linguistic communication between intelligent agents. He is Director of the Toolbox Project, an NSF-sponsored research initiative that investigates philosophical approaches to facilitating interdisciplinary research. He was principal investigator on the NSF-funded project, “Improving Communication in Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration” (SES-0823058), which extended the development and application of the “Toolbox” method designed to improve communication and understanding among members of cross-disciplinary research teams. He has published extensively on the topics of communication, interdisciplinary theory and practice, and robotic agent design. He has been a co-principal investigator or collaborator on funded projects involving autonomous underwater vehicles, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, and resilience in environmental systems. He co-founded and served as co-director of the Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, an interdisciplinary conference on philosophical themes, and as co-editor of the Topics in Contemporary Philosophy series published by MIT Press.Stephen Crowley is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boise State University. He is a graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington) where he was part of a rich inter-disciplinary community (philosophers, computer scientists, psychologists, and biologists) working on issues in animal cognition. He was also a founding member of the Indiana University Philosophy Departments’ Empirical Epistemology Laboratory – a group focused on applying methods from the social sciences to issues within the theory of knowledge in particular as well as philosophy more generally. Since arriving at Boise State, Stephen, while continuing to work on providing a coherent intellectual framework for empirical philosophy, has focused his research on developing an understanding of the barriers to and mechanisms for conducting inter-disciplinary collaborative research. Some of this work involves agent based modeling but the major focus has been on empirically informed investigation with the Toolbox Project (http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/toolbox/) at the University of Idaho. As a side project Steve spends time wondering why things are so much easier in theory than in practice when it comes to interdisciplinary collaboration!Sanford Eigenbrode is Professor and Chair of Entomology at the University of Idaho. He received a BS in biology, an MS in Natural Resources and a PhD in Entomology from Cornell University. Sanford conducts research on chemical ecology of insect-plant and multi-trophic interactions. He has expertise in host plant resistance, natural products chemistry, scanning electron microscopy, and integration of host plant resistance into insect pest management. Recently, he has focused on the chemical ecology, landscape ecology and management of insect-vectored viruses of wheat, potatoes and legumes. He is director of an AFRI RAMP project on legume virus risk mitigation. His landscape ecology research has included study of insect pests affecting coffee agroforestry systems in Costa Rica. He is co-PI on a renewed NSF-IGERT project on Resilience of Ecological and Social Systems in Changing Landscapes and coordinator of the Joint Doctoral Program between the University of Idaho and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) in Turrialba, Costa Rica. He is project director for a $20M NIFA Coordinated Agricultural Project on Regional Approaches to Climate Change in Pacific Northwest Agriculture and a NIFA-funded Risk Avoidance and Mitigation program. As an outgrowth of these several broadly interdisciplinary, collaborative projects, Sanford is engaged in research and education focused on improving the process of collaborative science, which continues to thrive through his engagement with the ECIR volume and the project that has produced it.J.D. Wulfhorst is Professor of Rural Sociology and Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Social Science Research Unit (SSRU) at the University of Idaho. He received a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Appalachian State University, an MS in Sociology from the University of Kentucky, and a PhD in Rural Sociology from Utah State University. He has expertise in risk perceptions, constraints to adoption of technology in farm systems, conflict in rangeland management, and the negotiated order(s) of natural resource management. Recently, he has begun work in the area of climate science related to agricultural systems, societal adaptation, and community resilience. He has developed a niche as a social scientist collaborating with interdisciplinary teams addressing natural resource and agricultural challenges within the western United States. As a member of this editorial team, J.D. has developed an interest to pursue ongoing analyses of team-based research processes especially with respect to how social dynamics affect groups with turnover and institutional change.

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