Marine Science is already highly interdisciplinary field, representing an impressive number of disciplines and sub-disciplines. Today it becomes more and more urgent for nature science to open up towards social sciences and humanities to give reliable answer to the most pressing questions of global relevance dealing with marine topics. In our opinion relevant answers to these questions can only be based on an integrated approach.
The envisaged events initiated by NWVM shall lead to a systematic collaboration combining interdisciplinary research and internationalization, thus the NWVM with its Office for Guest Scientists provides the ideal setting and support when contriving interdisciplinary and international projects.
Still interdisciplinary research goes with a number of challenges. There is for instance no interdisciplinary research convention yet leaving one with clear guidelines. Guidelines or recommendations are however difficult to come up with in an interdisciplinary and international research context where different cultures meet – national cultures as well as subject-related ones. The different disciplinary backgrounds imply that you also have to deal with different methods of data gathering and analysis. So embarking to interdisciplinary and international research processes and crossing the disciplinary boarders has to go with the necessary openness towards “the other discipline”, and with the willingness to get oneself into – more time-consuming – interdisciplinary and intercultural communication.
Considering this and other content-related as well as structural challenges, interdisciplinary research can lead to new findings – and here we have come to full circle – to answer pressing research questions, that need an interdisciplinary approach in order to be answered at all. In the end visible internationalization and interdisciplinary research are also essentials when it comes to ensuring eligibility for funding.
The member institutions respectively individual scientists within NWVM can make use of this NWVM framework for their very own visible positioning towards an interdisciplinary marine science.
Concept and coordination: Britta Hamann, Office for Guest Scientists