Around the O, the University of Oregon's media organ (I love that word, "organ"), produced a nice little story last year about our NSF-funded Knowledge Integration Project. (In their words, "Around the O is the UO’s go-to place for information about the university, its people and the difference they make in Oregon and around the world.") Writer Emily Halnon is a skilled wordsmith and deftly captured the heart of our research ambitions.
Read the full article here. A few of my favorite excerpts:
- Meehan wants to understand how international partnerships function and how the scientific community could do interdisciplinary research better. To investigate this question, she will examine how scientists from different places and backdrops collaborate on environmental research and how they might be able to more effectively integrate knowledge across borders. “We want to understand how different people stitch knowledge together across cultures, backgrounds, borders, disciplines and between people who work on different scales of analysis, from microbiomes to ecosystems,” Meehan said.
- [Meehan] said many researchers are looking for a formulaic approach to international and interdisciplinary collaboration, but she expects the dynamic nature of the partnerships will prevent her from identifying a single formula for collaboration.
- Meehan looks at the project as a study into how people work, which helps explain why it’s unlikely she will produce a one-size-fits-all recipe to apply to scientific partnerships. Humans are complex ingredients and she suspects her observations in the United States and Brazil might mirror some of what she saw during the Fulbright project in Latin America, when qualities like empathy and relationship-building were so key to successful teamwork.
- “Some people are desperate for a recipe for interdisciplinary science collaboration,” she [Meehan] explained. “We are still just beginning the research, but I suspect our observations might point to the importance of negotiations, empathy and other complex skills that diverge from a formulaic strategy.”