No room to jump

July 24, 2008

It is wonderful to see more money being put into grants to fund boundary-hopping between disciplines ("Leap ahead", 17 July). The emphasis with these grants is on the physical and life sciences, where the aim is to produce the next groundbreaking and newsworthy discovery. But what about the prospects for social sciences? Interdisciplinarity continues to be a buzzword, yet working counter to this the research assessment exercise strategy has served to shoehorn researchers into ever narrower interpretations of their own discipline. Here the message is, publish within your own discipline or perish. Little room there for creative boundary-hopping.

Sara MacKian, The Open University.

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