Perspectives on Science 27 (4):553-581 (2019)

Nancy Nersessian
Harvard University
The paper frames interdisciplinary research as creating complex, distributed cognitive-cultural systems. It introduces and elaborates on the method of cognitive ethnography as a primary means for investigating interdisciplinary cognitive and learning practices in situ. The analysis draws from findings of nearly 20 years of investigating such practices in research laboratories in pioneering bioengineering sciences. It examines goals and challenges of two quite different kinds of integrative problem-solving practices: biomedical engineering and integrative systems biology. Practical lessons for facilitating research and learning in these specific fields are discussed and a preliminary set of interdisciplinary epistemic virtues are proposed as candidates for cultivation in interdisciplinary practices of these kinds more widely.
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DOI 10.1162/posc_a_00316
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Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics.Peter Galison (ed.) - 1997 - University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
Cognition in the Wild.Edwin Hutchins - 1998 - Mind 107 (426):486-492.

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