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Appendix D From Interdiscipline to Discipline
Pages 249-253

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From page 249...
... The founders of the distinct discipline, who were usually trained in one of its "parent" disciplines, may then take the logical, although often discomfiting step, of moving into a new professional identity and culture. The purpose of this appendix is to illustrate, by example, how interdisciplinary partnerships have evolved into new disciplines and how these new disciplines have led to the creation of a new breed of interdisciplinary professional society since World War II.
From page 250...
... The interaction of biological and geological thinking developed over many decades, but the formal birth of the new field happened quickly. It was stimulated in part by the report of a colloquium held in December 2000 by the American Academy of Microbiology, which formally described geobiology as "research that attempts to understand the interface between the biosphere and the geosphere." The report was followed by the decision of the Geological Society of America to create the new Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division in May 2001 and then by the decisions of Elsevier Science to publish Virtual Journal of Geobiology in 2002 and of Blackwell Publishing to launch the new journal Geobiology in 2003.
From page 251...
... It has been invigorated by new technologies, such as the use of positron emission tomography to image blood flow and magnetic resonance imaging to look at neural structures. Its growth has been so rapid that some of its own subdisciplines, such as cognitive neuroscience, are now acquiring disciplinary status.
From page 252...
... Although it may be premature to define this field as a stand-alone discipline,7 some researchers have articulated a vision of a "metadiscipline." For example, one paper defines sustainability as "the design of human and industrial systems to ensure that humankind's use of natural resources and cycles do not lead to diminished quality of life due either to losses in future economic opportunities or to adverse impacts on social conditions, human health, and the environment."8 It remains to be seen whether an enterprise of such breadth is a discipline in the traditional sense or whether researchers are leading us toward a new concept of the discipline. 5World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
From page 253...
... The more institutions and funding organizations can help these pioneer investigators along their way, the greater the intellectual and practical rewards of research are likely to be.

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