At a seminar conducted by Asst. Prof. David Lewis of the Psychology Department, the FEASS faculty came together on Friday, December 6 to discuss cross-disciplinary collaboration. In his presentation, Dr. Lewis discussed the benefits that result when experts from different disciplines join forces: the generation of new ideas and solutions to the problems faced by humankind today. He offered a quote by William Rees capturing the importance of this type of collaboration in the modern world: “We (experts) may think we know a very great deal, and we do, but it is such a tiny part of the overall puzzle that it doesn’t contribute very much…on its own.”
Dr. Lewis noted that by bringing together different areas of expertise and knowledge, interdisciplinary teams form “supercharged” groups capable of producing innovative solutions and putting them into action with their diverse skill sets. He also pointed out that because interdisciplinary teams include experts from different fields, these groups possess deep, discipline-specific knowledge but are at the same time able to keep the broader societal impact in mind.
As part of the seminar, FEASS faculty members participated in a collaborative exercise in which they gathered into groups according to topics linking their research interests and engaged in conversation for 15 minutes. Following this, Dr. Lewis invited the participants to continue to pursue cross-disciplinary collaboration utilizing the resources available here at Bilkent. One resource on which he placed particular emphasis was “Notes from Nature,” a biweekly event that occurs on Wednesdays during the noon hour in the Bilkent Library, with the goal of “build[ing] a core group that is proficient in state-of-the-art global science and technology as well as the social context in which it is shaped.”