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Interdisciplinarity

Interdisciplinarity is a term which refers to the integration of concepts across different disciplines. Interesting new disciplines often pop up as a result of such syntheses. For instance, quantum information processing amalgamates elements of quantum physics and computer science. Bioinformatics combines (molecular) biology with computer science.

A few traditional disciplines could be considered as more interdisciplinary than others: philosophy, mathematics, business, economics, education, ecology, history, and computer science, among others. Some other, newer fields, such as cybernetics and general systems theory, are also highly interdisciplinary. All disciplines have important connections with other disciplines, however.

Factors that, arguably, have hindered interdisciplinary work are the traditional divisions that have been established between disciplines and the resulting homogeneity within academic bodies such as departments and specialized journals. Nevertheless, some of the most important interdisciplinary work has been done by people who have a definite "academic home" in one discipline.

Here are a few of the most important concepts that are arguably interdisciplinary, thus finding applications in several different fields: (someone help structure this)

Terms with a high degree of interdisciplinarity include:

External links:

  • A glossary of interdisciplinary concepts can be found at [1] (http://www.uia.org/uialists/ndx/konindex.htm).


This page has a strong emphasis on the natural sciences. It doesn't mention interdisciplinary fields in the social sciences/humanities, such as gender and sexuality studies or postcolonial studies[?]. -- SJK



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