Policy ForumScience Policy

Interdisciplinary Research: From Belief to Reality

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Science  29 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5402, pp. 642-643
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5402.642

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The history of the federal research enterprise in science, engineering, and technology, the culture of federal research agencies and research universities, and the dominant modes for funding decisions bias the federal support system strongly toward disciplinary research. One result is substantial gaps and missed opportunities in research support. Examples are provided, and a proposal is offered to strengthen significantly the role of high-quality interdisciplinary research in the nation's research portfolio.