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Being Interdisciplinary

Adventures in Urban Science and Beyond

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.

160 pages | 6.14 x 9.21 | © 2022

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Table of Contents

Prologue: A Research Autobiography Part I: Interdisciplinary Research: A systems Approach
1. Interdisciplinary research
2. Being interdisciplinary Part II:  Doing Interdisciplinary Research
3. How to start
4. Establishing a research base-1: system models
5. Establishing a research base-2: data
6. Doing the research: different kinds of problem solving Part III: Tricks of the trade
7. Adding to the toolkit: explorations
8. Adding to the toolkit-2: more on superconcepts Part IV: Managing and Organising Research
9. Managing research, managing ourselves
10. Organising research

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