Blurring disciplinary boundaries

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Science  24 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6366, pp. 975
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar4320

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The ambitious and integrated framework of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demonstrates that complex global problems span the natural and social sciences and that solutions to such problems demand a joint approach of the two. Despite decades of efforts toward better integration, much of society still presumes a stark divide between the disciplines, and most scientists continue to be trained, evaluated, and rewarded in disciplinary silos. The recent merger of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC)—leading international councils of the natural and social sciences, respectively—sends a powerful message that the future of science depends on collapsing the walls between academic disciplines.