Science on its own is not enough for solving some of the complex problems of today. How solutions are developed, who is involved in developing them and the way people behave are all very important. The humanities, arts and social sciences need to work with the natural sciences to devise solutions to compelling problems, and develop the industries of the future.

The low life expectancy rates of indigenous populations in developed countries such as Canada, Australia and the US are caused by a combination of destructive personal behaviours such as the excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco, and limited access to modern medical care. This one example suggests that solutions to problems like these require a partnership of the humanities and the sciences.

Collaborations between the disciplines are also essential for the industries of the future. New media is a high growth area, and requires a combination of technology and content – the sciences and the arts working in partnership.

Collaborations can be a powerful communication tool. Increasingly artists are working in partnerships with scientists. The Cape Farewell project takes teams of scientists, artists, oceanographers, journalists and teachers on a voyage into Arctic seas. Collectively they interpret and explain global warming, reaching a wider international audience than scientists alone could achieve.

This paper will give a progress report on a major Australian study, which sets out to describe multi- disciplinary collaborations. What issues are they working on? How did the partners find each other? Have they found it difficult to work with people from other disciplines? What communication issues arise in such collaborations? How can we do things better? The paper draws on examples and case studies from around the world, and describes the progress made towards developing a ‘best-practice’ manual for those involved in collaborative activities.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Working collaboratively
The case for the humanities, arts and social sciences to work with science

Toss Gascoigne   Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Canberra Australia.

Science on its own is not enough for solving some of the complex problems of today. How solutions are developed, who is involved in developing them and the way people behave are all very important. The humanities, arts and social sciences need to work with the natural sciences to devise solutions to compelling problems, and develop the industries of the future.

The low life expectancy rates of indigenous populations in developed countries such as Canada, Australia and the US are caused by a combination of destructive personal behaviours such as the excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco, and limited access to modern medical care. This one example suggests that solutions to problems like these require a partnership of the humanities and the sciences.

Collaborations between the disciplines are also essential for the industries of the future. New media is a high growth area, and requires a combination of technology and content – the sciences and the arts working in partnership.

Collaborations can be a powerful communication tool. Increasingly artists are working in partnerships with scientists. The Cape Farewell project takes teams of scientists, artists, oceanographers, journalists and teachers on a voyage into Arctic seas. Collectively they interpret and explain global warming, reaching a wider international audience than scientists alone could achieve.

This paper will give a progress report on a major Australian study, which sets out to describe multi- disciplinary collaborations. What issues are they working on? How did the partners find each other? Have they found it difficult to work with people from other disciplines? What communication issues arise in such collaborations? How can we do things better? The paper draws on examples and case studies from around the world, and describes the progress made towards developing a ‘best-practice’ manual for those involved in collaborative activities.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

BACK TO TOP