Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||Great expectations and promises rest on interdisciplinarity in nanoscale research. Yet, although many science and engineering disciplines actually began to engage in this field, it is only poorly understood what interdisciplinarity actually is and what factors hinder and promote it. Part I provides an introduction to interdisciplinarity, its cognitive and social elements, and its related concepts, such as multi- and transdisciplinary or super-interdisciplinary. Part II first presents empirical findings about the actual weakness of interdisciplinarity in current nanoscale research and then discusses two of the main conceptual reasons for this. I argue that definitions of nanoscale research are too vague to provide interdisciplinary integration and that current nanotechnological visions include discipline-rooted and metaphysically opposed technological paradigms, such as ‘self-assembly’ vs. ‘atom-by-atommanipulation’, that pose strong barriers to interdisciplinary research.|
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