Revolutionary Minds Think Tank

…And That’s A Wrap!

Margaret Turbull’s comments about knowing when to build bridges between disciplines (and when not to) is an appropriate final installment of the RevMinds interview series. Over the last several months we’ve heard our multidisciplinary experts sound off on the following timely questions: The boundaries of science are continually expanding as scientists become increasingly integral to…

A POWEr-ful Performance

image: illustration from the POWEr technical rider In discussing fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations Edward Einhorn identifies a pair of independent theatre collectives that incorporate advanced projection technology and even a Tesla coil into their performances. These groups (3LD and the Collective Unconscious) exemplify how far production and set design has come since the era of Einstein…

Below, Margaret Turnbull answers our final question. Even in my small area of astrobiology, the design of a single mission to find habitable planets orbiting other stars requires substantial input from the studies of astrophysics, space communications, space flight technology, optics, materials science, the interplanetary space environment, Earth’s atmospheric system, microbiology, geology, computing, remote sensing,…

Tesla Coil, Center Stage

Below, Edward Einhorn answers our final question. Writing theater about science, in general, has become somewhat more popular, thanks partly (but by no means wholly) on the fact that technology has slowly become a more integral part of theater. This is especially true in small, independent theaters where the technology is not just there to…

SYMBRION – Physical AIS Prototype

image: a proposed example of an immune-inspired network system, source: SYMBRION & REPLICATOR In identifying computer science as a nexus of interdisciplinary collaboration, Fernando Esponda cites Artificial Immune Systems (AIS) as research exemplifying this sentiment. Esponda describes AIS as an attempt by computer scientists and immunologists to “learn nature’s algorithms for defending the body against…

Context is King

Below, Skylar Tibbits answers our final question. Cross-disciplinary approaches have proved useful to gain insight into unknown territories, quickly change scale and application, push past a field’s current boundaries and inspire new directions and connections. Varying skills and necessities often become beneficial characteristics for collaboration between domains. Each person can bring insight, real-world application, understanding…

Below, Fernando Esponda answers our final question. Computer science is a discipline that is intrinsically interdisciplinary. Primarily because the computer itself—the externalization of our logic apparatus—is such an enticing and versatile tool. Therefore, it is not hard to find examples of cross-disciplinary approaches. Just think of Artificial Intelligence and all the areas it draws upon.…

Docuinformatics Revisited

image: history flow edit log of the Wikipedia article on evolution Nick Matzke is ambitious when he exercises his imagination. In answering our final question, Matzke sketches out a methodology for tracking how public policies or scientific hypotheses were “copied, repeated, modified and propagated” to see how society (and the passage of time) nurtures the…

Knowledge Interoperability

Below, John Wilbanks answers our final question. Cross-disciplinarity seems to work best when there’s a problem that has a few facets that are apparently unconnected, but the disconnect comes from the artificial way we divide up the knowledge. Because in reality the problem is simply the problem, but scientists get trained into reductively narrow disciplines…

I erroneously titled the post that contained Michelle Borkin’s final answer “Collaboration and Hemodynamics” and this definitely reflected an oversight on my part. In addition to discussing hemodynamics Michelle also touched on the Astronomical Medicine project, a venture that definitely deserves some attention as it is a great example of interdisciplinary collaboration. What exactly is…