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Cross-Cutting Disciplines: Evolution and Transformation

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We live in transformative times; our climate and biological systems are destabilized and increasingly unpredictable; our culture and politics are hyperpolarized and interconnected; and our societies and economies are responding in-kind, sometimes with undesirable outcomes. 

Thus, now more than ever, universities have a pivotal role in preparing students for both navigating and operating at the interdisciplinary boundaries between the natural and physical sciences, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities. Important skill sets such as critical thinking and evidence-based decision making beyond disciplinary specializations are increasingly in demand in the workforce. 

Yet the challenges of this role are large: before students can explore transformation across traditional academic disciplines, an institution must have a basic, multidisciplinary framework onto which degree programs or certificates can be taught and awarded. Furthermore, private foundations and governmental granting agencies are offering funding opportunities that do not sit within neat disciplinary boundaries, and therefore require institutions to work interdepartmentally to support basic and applied research. 

Our group seeks to bolster campus networks where transformation is already a unifying theme and propose creative programs that study the evolving world around us.

Team

Name Current Title Department
Jeroen Smaers Associate Professor Anthropology
John True Associate Professor Ecology & Evolution
Greg Henkes Assistant Professor Geosciences
Shaoyu Ge Associate Professor Neurobiology and Behavior
Gerald Thomsen Professor Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Sohl Lee Assistant Professor Art

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