Multidisciplinarity: 146.000 hits
Multidisciplinair: 867.000 hits
Multidisciplinaire: 2.510.000 hits
More and more multidisciplinary studies arise and if you’re following this website you’ve seen this word already several times. Sentences like “learn from each other qualities” and “bring disciplines/groups together”sounds probably very familiair, but is it really like that?
During my master Forensic Science at the University of Amsterdam, I started with including some multidisciplinarity into my studies. A group of people form different disciplines and countries…..doesn’t that sound familiar…… had to work together. During this study I’ve learned a lot from my biology colleagues, and I got the opportunity to explain chemistry things in an easy understandable way to other students. This is exactly what we have to do right now, explaining your research in layman language (okay to be fair, during my masters most of them knew roughly where it was about so not completely laymen) to make your work/research accessible for everyone. But there is of course also a downside of multidisciplinarity, the in your opinion basic steps are explained several times (to the point of boredom) and in general it takes more time before things get discussed in depth or you’ll never reach that point at all.
Would it then be better to focus on increasing the average level, making it understandable for everyone, or focussing on a smaller group (the people of your field). This is exactly what I came across at conferences, symposia and summer school. Some forensic conferences contain a wide variety of topics, from psychology till toxicology, with presenters focussing on that everyone understands it and presenters focussing mainly on other experts in their field. As with so many things the best path is probably somewhere in the middle, being able to discuss your ideas in a way that everyone can understand and receiving feedback from a completely different point of view (which often lead to surprising ideas) but also to get input from experts in the field.