PMID: 5910383Apr 1, 1966

Some thoughts on interdisciplinary science

Bulletin of the Medical Library Association
J N Stannard


The development of the "new biology" is largely a story of developments in interdisciplinary science. This paper considers a few of these of special interest to the author and active at the University of Rochester; namely, dental research, biophysics, radiation biology, health physics, biomedical engineering, and space biology. Rochester pioneered advanced academic training in radiation biology, a field which, despite some earlier tendencies to become associated with techniques rather than scientific problems, is now clearly a substantive discipline. Using biophysics as an example, the paper points to the futility of trying to define in detail the exact nature of each new "interdisciplinary discipline," yet it also decries the coining of new names without due cause. Health physics and its related field, radiological health, are described as centered on problems of radiation protection and as professional in their overtones. The interrelationships between engineering and bioscience are seen most clearly in biomedical engineering and the growing programs in space biology which require complete cooperation and mutual understanding between engineers and bioscientists for their ultimate success. After presenting some implications fo...Continue Reading

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