Promoting Creative Interdisciplinarity in a Disciplinary World:  Part 2: Human Networks are Crucial David E. Goldberg Illi...
Dueling Departments/Disciplines <ul><li>Missed revolutions & power of departments/disciplines. </li></ul><ul><li>Universit...
Promoting Creative Interdisciplinarity <ul><li>Difficult to overcome tyranny of departments/disciplines. </li></ul><ul><li...
Discipline as Religion <ul><li>Many disciplines privilege their perspectives and methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Science wars a...
Overcoming Linguistic Naiveté <ul><li>Tolerance first step, but language is still a barrier. </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic ...
From Pairwork to Network <ul><li>Went from solo to teamwork in the quality revolution. Skipped  pairwork.  </li></ul><ul><...
Networks Need Mesolevel Support <ul><li>Departmental faculty have access to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul></ul>...
Example: Evolution of ETSI <ul><li>ETSI = Engineering & Technology Studies at Illinois.  http://www-illigal.ge.uiuc.edu/ET...
Promoting Creative Interdisciplinarity in a Disciplinary World:  Part 2: Human Networks as Crucial David E. Goldberg Illin...
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Promoting Creative Interdisciplinarity in a Disciplinary World: Part 2, Human Networks are Crucial

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avid E. Goldberg explores how to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in universities that have strong disciplinary underpinnings. The second part considers the key human elements necessary for effective interdisciplinarity.

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Promoting Creative Interdisciplinarity in a Disciplinary World: Part 2, Human Networks are Crucial

  1. 1. Promoting Creative Interdisciplinarity in a Disciplinary World: Part 2: Human Networks are Crucial David E. Goldberg Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 61801 [email_address] ; www.Ifoundry.illinois.edu
  2. 2. Dueling Departments/Disciplines <ul><li>Missed revolutions & power of departments/disciplines. </li></ul><ul><li>University of Illinois as Italian renaissance experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Warring factions in Venice, Rome & Florence. </li></ul><ul><li>Fighting for treasure, loyalty, allegiance. </li></ul><ul><li>Machiavelli would have been at home. </li></ul><ul><li>Return to treasure at end. </li></ul>Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)
  3. 3. Promoting Creative Interdisciplinarity <ul><li>Difficult to overcome tyranny of departments/disciplines. </li></ul><ul><li>Human networks, not electronic networks, as primary: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand disciplines as religion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linguistic naiveté and how to overcome. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pairwork grows networks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks need mesolevel institutional support. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Discipline as Religion <ul><li>Many disciplines privilege their perspectives and methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Science wars as example. </li></ul><ul><li>But smart people in organized discipline probably doing something right. </li></ul><ul><li>First step: toleration of disciplinary difference. </li></ul><ul><li>Actively seeking interpretations that make sense. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to say, but hard to do. </li></ul><ul><li>Start with language. </li></ul><ul><li>Toward discipline of interdisciplinarity. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Overcoming Linguistic Naiveté <ul><li>Tolerance first step, but language is still a barrier. </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic naiveté: (LN): belief that words have single, fixed meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>Disciplines become disciplines by defining words in specific ways; encourage LN. </li></ul><ul><li>Must understand ways same word can be used in different disciplines. </li></ul>
  6. 6. From Pairwork to Network <ul><li>Went from solo to teamwork in the quality revolution. Skipped pairwork. </li></ul><ul><li>Georges Harik, early Google employee: pairs 20x more productive than singletons. </li></ul><ul><li>Get </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large opportunity for complementary skills. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low coordination costs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximal opportunity for marginal creativity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective emotional leveling. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Great pairwork yields great networks. </li></ul>Wilbur Wright Orville Wright
  7. 7. Networks Need Mesolevel Support <ul><li>Departmental faculty have access to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clerical support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mesolevel interdisciplinary entities need to provide some of these. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t need new “dots” so much as we need dot connectors. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Example: Evolution of ETSI <ul><li>ETSI = Engineering & Technology Studies at Illinois. http://www-illigal.ge.uiuc.edu/ETSI </li></ul><ul><li>Started as lecture series & website in 2006 following blog post. </li></ul><ul><li>Grew to grassroots network of faculty both sides of Green. </li></ul><ul><li>Continues to interact & fundamental to educational & research initiatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Need new institutional forms for minimal support of interdisciplinary initiatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Next part: From human to electronic networks. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Promoting Creative Interdisciplinarity in a Disciplinary World: Part 2: Human Networks as Crucial David E. Goldberg Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 61801 [email_address] ; www.Ifoundry.illinois.edu

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