When representatives of different sciences come together to discuss, learn or even research, it is always complicated: Each profession has its own language, its own method and its own way of presentation, every discipline considers itself as extremely important or even the most important.
Who has the patience to explain all the subtleties of a subject to a non-specialist by keeping the details professional? And even after a successful collaboration the following actions are uncertain.
Without dealing a long time with this question, probably every scientist will realize quickly and intuitively, that the cooperation with other professional groups – the further away from its own territory, the more – difficult and tedious it can get. However, everyone knows that it is absolutely necessary in our small-sectioned, specialized scientific world, to solve large, diverse real world problems. This means: The collaboration of various disciplines can earn enormous profit.
This realization is so fundamental that every student will be faced with it during his or her studies – be it in bachelor, master or doctoral thesis. One´s own individual specialization is not omniscient and not every topic can be handled without different subject knowledge. But where should this knowledge come from, without studying law, mathematics and linguistics at once?
The goal of the Interdisciplinary Forum from first to third of April, which took place for the first time in Heidelberg, was to find a way through this problem: 37 bachelor, master and doctoral students of different disciplines came together to present and discuss scientific projects which necessitated the knowledge of different subjects. The individual projects were presented in small teams of three to ten people of various scientific areas relevant to the project.
In this frame, Hanna Drimalla described her concept of the mimicry App “Move it, see it, feel it” with participants of medicine, linguistics and computer science. Graduate of law studies Christian Kolb spoke about the possibility for states to pass through insolvency as a solution for global government indebtedness and combined economic, social and political science in this discussion. Katrin Frisch searched together with participants of history, culture, music and arts for strategies to cope with right ideology in modern literature. The complete list of the projects can be found at id-forum.org.
The two initiating lectures about the theoretical and practical aspects of the interdisciplinarity of Prof. Dr. Decker and Dr. Jungert helped to avoid the big challenges of interdisciplinary work like the use of different terminologies and adequate valuing of other rationale. Consequently, it was possible to give lots of advices and solve some interdisciplinary problems. Perhaps, the roots of some common interdisciplinary projects are even created …
We believe that this conference structure will continue in the future to provide a frame, in which different scientific disciplines can openly to come together, and thus will contribute to solving the comprehensive problems of our modern society.
The Interdisciplinary Forum is a scholarship seminar of the program “Stipendiaten machen Programm” of Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes e. V. and was supported by Jugend forscht e. V. The seminar was nevertheless open to everybody, regardless of affiliation.
Florian Bürger documented the seminar visually. The Interdisciplinary Forum was organized by Anne Hermle, Sören von Bülow and Andreas Lang.