What is interdisciplinarity?
In an increasingly complex world, research is needed that can see both breadth and depth in the major societal issues.
How interdisciplinarity takes us further
Interdisciplinary work should be rewarded
We need to constantly find new paths and ways of working to become even more interdisciplinary. We are to contribute to the development of society in the best possible way, and one way that we do this is by having a more interdisciplinary mindset.
New award for interdisciplinary initiatives
LiU was born out of interdisciplinarity
Without interdisciplinarity, no university in Linköping? We can’t know for sure. What is certain, however, is that interdisciplinarity has always been strong at LiU and has played a significant role in the university’s development.
In the early 1970s, when LiU was still a university college, the Department of Medical Technology was an important bridge between the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine. This may have been crucial when the government decided where Sweden’s sixth university would be located. They chose Linköping! The university college became a university in 1975.
A few years later, it was time for a new milestone. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Linköping University had been spun off from Stockholm University which meant that its focus was mostly on education and not so much on research. LiU argued that we need interdisciplinary research to solve contemporary and future societal problems.
And the government listened. In 1980, the Department of Thematic Studies was inaugurated, which meant something new and untried in the Swedish research community. Its work was organised in interdisciplinary themes, where researchers could meet across traditional subject boundaries and address complex issues together. The first themes were Technology and social change and Water in nature and society. These were followed by more and we now find interdisciplinary research throughout the university.
There are also many good examples when it comes to education programmes. Sweden’s first Master of Science programme in Industrial Engineering and Management linked economics and technology, and in the world’s first clinical teaching department, students from various health care programmes have met many patients over the years. Today, there are interdisciplinary programmes and courses in everything from environmental science to e-health that give our students the tools to create a better society.
But we are not done yet. Our best time is soon!