So our last speaker of this session uh comes also from scotland. Uh professor joyce tate. Who will speak about action-focused interdisciplinary research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. Its role in academia. Please uh joyce floor is yours. I i don’t don’t think we can hear you at the moment. Is there uh or is it just in the room go ahead yes thank you thank you. Um i’m having difficulty. I’m uploading my slides at this end what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. I’m not sure what’s going wrong but i wonder if you can. Uh forward the slides for me and as we go through the talk would that be. Okay yeah just say when and now i can thank you very much. That’s lovely thank you and yes i. I’m i’m going to talk about an interdisciplinary career what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research i’ve had a very interesting career. I’ve been a kind of an academic what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research nomad following the past years going where i thought the interesting ideas were and finding by booker by group crook some money to a do the research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research i wanted to do it. It’s not to be recommended if you want to have a stellar academic career what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. But it’s very much a recipe for an interesting life. And a if you move to the the first slide after the title. I’m showing you a postcard that my husband sent me for my birthday. Only those who are prepared to go too far can possibly know how far they can go. And I think that kind of characterizes my career what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research i i’ve gone a little bit too far on occasions i’ve usually managed to write myself and get back on track but sometimes it’s been really interesting in quotes so i i think i i think of a discipline and disciplines are absolutely essential for academic life what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. I’m not not challenging. That point but i think academic life is a bit too focused on disciplines what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. And and it’s a bit like a security blanket for academics what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. You know faced with a problem you know exactly how to tackle it because you know what your discipline what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research does what methods your discipline uses and that kind of thing. So it’s very much a makes life easier for academics what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. It makes it easier to know what to do and when to do it.
And and um next slide please my career history is is about inventing your own security blanket if you’re being truly interdisciplinary what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research Each problem you’re faced with you really don’t know at the beginning how to tackle it. You’ve got to find a way of doing it in a way that will enable the interdisciplinarity to succeed so that that interdisciplinarity is working at the boundaries finding out where the interactions are between different aspects of a problem and working out how to combine them in order to get the best possible understanding of. What’s going wrong. And what can be done to make it right and and so i about halfway through my career what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. I came up with this a triangular relationship which i thought described what i’d been doing from scratch. Every time i was faced with a problem i was working in chemical and life science industries and looking at the scientists themselves and how they were trying to get new innovations through to a market looking at policymakers and regulators wanting to make it safe or sometimes wanting to make it happen with new policies for that kind of thing looking at citizens and stakeholders um and how they interacted with the the other two regulatory people and the industry people to try and influence behavior and influence the course of development of technologies what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research and on the left side there and there’s a list of the different industry sectors and i’ve been working in over the years next slide which is titled the innovator’s perspective and this is a general model. I developed looking at how to how to handle interdisciplinary questions what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. About how products get developed by multinational companies and by small companies and and there’s a business model value chain and in the big green arrow. And there’s uh a a a surrounding innovation ecosystem with stakeholders government what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. Regulators ip regimes models markets funding models industry dynamics all surrounding the system. Uh enabling or disabling the the course of development of the innovation and that that’s that’s kind of developed in my thinking and my group thinking as a way of tackling complex problems from the perspective of the innovator and then the next slide shows how we’ve tackled it from the perspective of the regulator and uh if you if you look at this slide what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research then there there’s uh on the right hand side there’s the triangular model again looking at the governance part of that model you have with regulatory systems a way of controlling the development of a product as it goes through the process from a scientific research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research through to application in the market.
And and we’ve been looking at. How regulatory regimes have ratched up. Uh ratcheted up the the cost of innovation over the years. Now this has been the very interesting up to this point. We’ve been doing quite a lot of projects and in all those industry areas and and the end result. Um of a lot of that was a a a lot of evidence that 20 20th century regulatory systems are not fit for purpose for today’s innovative technologies. And a very a set of reasons. Why that’s the case. Um and making the case that the uk could take an internationally leading role in setting and adapting regulations and guidelines and standards in a way that better meets the needs of 21st century innovations. So this was one of the big outcomes of a whole series of research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research projects and consultancies in different industry sectors and we saw that happening across the board in many different places so uh not so long ago i i was invited to join the the uk council for science and technology what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research which directly uh influences senior levels of government. And um i i led an initiative from them that i sent a letter to senior members of the uk government saying that an initiative was needed that challenges that addresses the challenges faced by today’s in the regulatory and governance systems to meet the needs of 21st century innovation delivering better value for money etc. I’m skipping some of this because i think i’m getting too long on time.
But this was seen as a currently addressed translational a currently unaddressed translational deficit and potentially a waste of national resources. If you fund a lot of basic scientific research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research that could potentially lead to useful outcomes and these outcomes don’t happen at least or at least don’t happen in the uk something’s going wrong. And we were proposing that it was the regulatory system and then the outcome of that letter was a very rapid response within two weeks from the uk government. Setting up this series of initiatives to a address. This problem of regulation for the 21st regulation for the fourth industrial revolution. The point i want to emphasize on this slide is the strategic horizon scanning function which set up a body called the regulatory horizons council in 2020. And then in in 2021 i i i was invited i applied to be a member. Okay thank you so it appears that we have some technical issues so effectively microsoft team just crashed so um so we lost our speaker for the time being and and we’re back online so so this is um this is. That’s the end of my slides. But i want to just wrap this up by saying you know i. I’ve put this in there as a very rapid run-through of a rather long career looking at first of all the industry sector the pesticide industry. Then following that through when the pesticide industry moved to gm crops looking at this in a way that was highly interdisciplinary and therefore getting insights into how things were working that other research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary researchers weren’t getting but um you know as with all interdisciplinary research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research you you may or may not have an influence at the end of the day and i think the extent of the influence that that research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research is having now has quite a lot to do with the fact that britain is no longer in the eu. And that’s very sad in lots of ways and and there are a few very small number of opportunities there to do things a little bit better in in the uk.
But but it’s the the length of the interdisciplinary career that i want to emphasize you know. Most people have a short spell on doing something interdisciplinary and then move back to their disciplines often finding themselves at a disadvantage compared to their colleagues when they do uh and and the real question is how we can foster long-term interdisciplinary careers in universities. I think that’s the biggest challenge of all for interdisciplinary research what is the main aim of inter disciplinary research. So thank you very much and i hope i haven’t gone over time.
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