Interdisciplinary research is an antidote to evidence free policy, ad-hoc management and investment and poor on-ground practice. In considering multiple perspectives and methods, interdisciplinarity anticipates complexity, naivety, scepticism and blatant ideological bias.
Unlike the pursuit of knowledge through a single lens, and without ignoring the importance of disciplinary focus, interdisciplinary research reaches conclusions and promotes responses accessible to and understood by multiple actors. While these conclusions are not necessarily advocated by researchers in a public and political sense, they tend to be advocacy-ready for those responsible for influencing and enacting change.
Frank Fenner foresaw this, and through the creation of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Science in 1973, set out to strengthen the Australian National University’s capacity to draw on multiple disciplines to resolve the growing complexity of issues facing society.
This seminar will address, and celebrate, where the ANU has reached since the antecedents of CRES came together in 1973, what the impact has been and where it could take us in future.
This event is open to a wide audience from national to local policy makers, industry and public investors and actors, public program managers and on-ground implementers, community groups and academics. The majority of speakers are internationally renowned in their fields, and plenty of discussion time has been allowed for.
Find the speaker bios here
Image: Frank Fenner.
In 1971, when presenting a case for a centre for natural resources at ANU, Fenner wrote:
"The rational utilisation of natural resources in a way which is biologically, culturally and economically acceptable to man requires the skills and understanding of integrated groups of people of different disciplines brought together with the common commitment to seek solutions to the practical problems of natural resource management."
Fenner served as the Centre’s Director from 1973 until his retirement in 1979.