Nagib Callaos, Jeremy Horne
Communication is fundamental in scientific practice and an integral part of academic work. The practice of communication cannot be neglected by those who are trying to advance scientific research. Effective means should continuously be identified in order to open channels of communication within and among disciplines, among scientists and between scientists and the general public.The increasing importance of interdisciplinary communication has been pointed out by an increasing number of researchers and scholars, as well as in conferences and roundtables on the subject. Some authors even estimate that “interdisciplinary study represents the future of the university.” Since interdisciplinary study is “the most underthought critical, pedagogical and institutional concept in modern academy” it is important to think and reflect, and even do some research, on this concept or notion. Research and practice based reflections with regards to this issue are important especially because the increasing complexity and proliferation of scientific research is generating countless specialties, sub-specialties and sub-sub-specialties, with their respective special languages; which were “created for discrete local areas of research based upon the disconnected branches of science.” On the other hand, scientific, technical and societal problems are requiring multi- or inter-disciplinary consideration. Consequently, interdisciplinary communication channels are being needed with urgency, and scientific research should be integrated, not just in the context of its discipline, but also in the context of related disciplines. Much more reflection and research should be done on this issue. Research on adequate research integration and communication is urgently required, i.e. meta-research efforts should be done in order to relate research results in an adequate and more useful way. This meta-research effort might be done in the context of each particular research, and/or in the more general context of research methodology or philosophy. The purpose of this initial draft is 1) to foster informal conversations and possibly formal research, and 2) to give a very modest first step in this general context, making some reflections on the subject, reviewing some related literature and providing a very initial framework for the generation of more reflections and research on this important subject. We will try to achieve this purpose by means of presenting the most important characteristics of inter-disciplinary communication and contrasting them with intra-disciplinary communication. This essay is a short version of a larger one which will be completed in the future. Consequently, we will present a scheme summarizing the characteristics and the contrasts identified in this version of the essay and those which details are being worked out for an expanded version of this essay to be released in the near future. Our purpose in this first short version is to give a modest step in the direction of exploring the importance and the ways of inter-disciplinary communication, in order to foster more similar steps by other researchers, scholars or practitioners. This is an evolving working essay, where the process of writing it is as much a part of the object as the object, itself.
 Kolenda, N., 1997, “Introduction” in Flower, R.G., Gordon T.F., Kolenda, N. and Souder, L. (Eds.), Overcoming the Language Barrier: Problems of Interdisciplinary Dialogue; Proceedings of an International Roundtable Meeting; May 14-17, 1997; Philadelphia: The Center for Frontier Sciences, Temple University; pp.1-4.
 Moran, J, 2002, Interdisciplinarity; London and New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, p.184. (Emphasis added)
 Liu, A., 1989, “The Power of Formalism: The New Historicism”, English Library History 56, 4 (Winter): pp. 721-71. (Quoted by Moran, 2002)
 Dardick, I., 1997, “Monologues” in Flower, R.G., Gordon T.F., Kolenda, N. and Souder, L. (Eds.), Overcoming the Language Barrier: Problems of Interdisciplinary Dialogue; Proceedings of an International Roundtable Meeting; May 14-17, 1997; Philadelphia: The Center for Frontier Sciences, Temple University; p. 5.