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Cambridge MedChem Consulting

Bias against interdisciplinary research


When I first started on my career I was only to well aware that funding bodies would reject proposals for having "not enough chemistry" or "not enough biology" but I had hoped that by now it would be realised that multidisciplinary teams were key elements in bleeding edge science. However this recent paper suggests the problem still persists. Anyone who has been involved in drug discovery will understand the importance of interdisciplinary research

Point of View: Correcting the bias against interdisciplinary research DOI

When making decisions about funding and jobs the scientific community should recognise that most of the tools used to evaluate scientific excellence are biased in favour of established disciplines and against interdisciplinary research.

Scientists who leave the safe haven of their home discipline to explore the uncharted territory that lies outside and between established disciplines are often punished rather than rewarded for following their scientific curiosity

Perhaps all funding bodies should read this book

The Medici Effect, With a New Preface and Discussion Guide: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation

The book is the basis for "The Medici Effect," a term coined by Johansson and used throughout various industries to describe innovation that happens when disciplines and ideas intersect.