Science Editorial on the Importance of Interdisciplinary Graduate Education

AAAS President Phillip A. Sharp of MIT and Alan Leshner, CEO of AAAS and Executive Publisher of Science recently coauthored an editorial in Science about the importance of interdisciplinary graduate education. The authors say, “Education and training programs must be developed in what has come to be called “convergence science”: the integration of life, physical, and engineering sciences, so that S&T practitioners have a knowledge and experience base to participate in the kinds of integrated scientific efforts that are needed.” They also call universities to change their policies to support and reward interdisciplinary training and research. Not too much detail, but it’s great to know this is a priority at some of the highest levels.

Thanks goes to John McDowell of the Translational Plant Science IGEP for sending me this link.

Publication Opportunity – Journal Special Issue

If your interdisciplinary expertise is anywhere in the neighborhood of decision sciences, management or engineering, then you should consider submitting to this special issue of Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education on Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Practices. This could be a great opportunity to share the details of how you work in a team to train graduate students to be better interdisciplinary researchers. Note the topics are wide open and include curriculum development, faculty development and the need for interdisciplinary training.

Call for Papers

Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education: Special Issue on ‘Educational Innovation and Reform in the Decision Sciences Using Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Practices’ (Educational Innovation and Reform in the Decision Sciences Using Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Practices)

Guest Editors: Nebil Buyurgan, Mary Meixell, Quinnipiac University

Motivation and Background

As business practices evolve and become increasingly integrated, the boundaries between disciplines fade. As such, multiple perspectives in education become essential to adequately prepare students for the workforce, and to achieve the curricular integration that is becoming increasingly common in both business and engineering programs. Multidisciplinary education is the practice of using the approaches and methods of two or more disciplines in curriculum design, pedagogy development, and course delivery. Similarly, collaborative education refers to educational endeavors that employ instructors and students from multiple disciplines. Both approaches bring together faculty and students with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to provide rich learning experiences.  They also provide opportunities for instructors to see their disciplines from fresh perspectives, which may enhance teaching and learning.

Multidisciplinary education in the decision sciences can take on different forms. For example, it can involve closely related fields such as marketing and management, related but distinct disciplines such as entrepreneurship and engineering, or offer integration with general education topics. It can also involve different modalities. For example, technologies such as ERP and simulation, experiential approaches such as service learning, and pedagogies such as inquiry based learning or team teaching, can all be used to offer deliver diverse educational experiences that cross traditional discipline based boundaries.

This special issue solicits submissions that offer new insights or innovations in multidisciplinary or collaborative education in the decision sciences. Submissions are sought that not only explore boundary spanning initiatives within the domain of business, but those that involve other domains such as engineering, health sciences, communication, and general education. Topics of interest include but are not limited to

•         The importance of multidisciplinary and collaborative education within and across disciplines

•         Student perceptions of and attitudes to multidisciplinary education

•         Educational models, methods, and pedagogies for effective, innovative multidisciplinary education

•         Curriculum development, course objectives, learning goals and assessment

•         Developing and effectively using technology in multidisciplinary education

•         Faculty issues, i.e., instructor development, faculty evaluation

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2014

DSJIE is a peer reviewed publication of the Decision Sciences Institute. Its mission is to publish significant research relevant to teaching, learning, and education in the decision sciences – quantitative and behavioral approaches to managerial decision making. For more details visit