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Overcoming Obstacles to Interdisciplinary Research

Overcoming Obstacles to Interdisciplinary Research Introduction Mascia et al.'s (2003) call for increased interdisciplinary approaches to conservation and Thornhill's (2003) response detailing activities of the Society for Conservation Biology reflect an evolution in thinking about environmental problems. We have moved beyond Hilborn and Ludwig's (1993) call to consider the human context of such problems to addressing them in an interdisciplinary manner and training researchers to do this ( Zarin et al. 2003 ). I fully support efforts to make conservation research, work, and training more interdisciplinary. I believe interdisciplinary approaches are critical for successful conservation and find collaborations personally and professionally rewarding ( Campbell 2003 ). Participants approaching an interdisciplinary collaboration for the first time, however, must recognize potential obstacles from the outset, not the least of which are “obstructive misconceptions or prejudices [that social and natural scientists have] about each other” ( Redclift 1998 :179). I have written about the challenges of doing social science research in the biologist‐dominated field of sea turtle conservation ( Campbell 2003 ). Here, I outline some practical and philosophical obstacles to interdisciplinary research in general, offer illustrative examples from my own experience, and make some suggestions for overcoming them. Many suggestions are directed at conservation biologists, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Overcoming Obstacles to Interdisciplinary Research

Conservation Biology , Volume 19 (2) – Apr 1, 2005

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
DOI
10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00058.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Introduction Mascia et al.'s (2003) call for increased interdisciplinary approaches to conservation and Thornhill's (2003) response detailing activities of the Society for Conservation Biology reflect an evolution in thinking about environmental problems. We have moved beyond Hilborn and Ludwig's (1993) call to consider the human context of such problems to addressing them in an interdisciplinary manner and training researchers to do this ( Zarin et al. 2003 ). I fully support efforts to make conservation research, work, and training more interdisciplinary. I believe interdisciplinary approaches are critical for successful conservation and find collaborations personally and professionally rewarding ( Campbell 2003 ). Participants approaching an interdisciplinary collaboration for the first time, however, must recognize potential obstacles from the outset, not the least of which are “obstructive misconceptions or prejudices [that social and natural scientists have] about each other” ( Redclift 1998 :179). I have written about the challenges of doing social science research in the biologist‐dominated field of sea turtle conservation ( Campbell 2003 ). Here, I outline some practical and philosophical obstacles to interdisciplinary research in general, offer illustrative examples from my own experience, and make some suggestions for overcoming them. Many suggestions are directed at conservation biologists,

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Apr 1, 2005

References