I have seen many cross-disciplinary approaches work successfully. These approaches are sometimes initially in the application of a tool or technique from one field to another, but ultimately lead to two-way conversations and better or new technologies to advance both fields. For my experience working at Harvard on the Astronomical Medicine project, the mutual need for sophisticated multidimensional data visualization techniques of image data cubes is the motivation for astronomers and radiologists working together. Both fields are able to borrow tools and techniques from each other and share in the new development of mutually beneficial tools.
â¨I have seen a different approach towards cross-disciplinary collaboration while working on Harvard's Multiscale Hemodynamics project. In this case a single problem requires multiple disciplines in order to find an answer.Â In this situation, the problem at hand is working to model blood flow through the human heart to better understand coronary artery disease. This problem can only be solved by multiple disciplines including physics, computational science, cardiology, radiology, and visualization working together. In the process of working together, sharing tools, techniques, and knowledge enlightens all participants while working to solve a common problem. I do not think there is any right or wrong way to collaborate as long as all fields involved participate and make an effort to learn more about what the others are doing. Â It is only with this added effort that knowledge can be transferred and advancement can happen!