Researchers collaborate to solve global sustainable development challenges
Leading researchers at Monash University have identified five key principles to facilitate collaboration between biophysical and social scientists to help solve the world's urgent sustainability problems. They have also issued a call for action, urging others to follow suit.
The invited comment, published this week in a special issue on Interdisciplinarity in the prestigious Nature journal, illustrates the highly successful collaborative approach Monash University researchers have taken to bridge the divide between the biophysical and social sciences to achieve solutions-focussed research outcomes that deliver real-world impact.
Professor Rebekah Brown, Professor Ana Deletic and Professor Tony Wong have revealed how a shared mission and constructive dialogue between researchers, policy makers and industry have been crucial to supporting the development of water management strategies which have now been successfully adopted in cities across Australia, as well as in Singapore, China and Israel.
Professor Brown, who earlier this week took part in a Parliamentary briefing in Canberra regarding Australia's role in achieving the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, suggests that if we are truly committed to solving the world's sustainability problems then interdisciplinary collaboration needs to become mainstream.
"Despite our rewarding experiences, interdisciplinary research that brings the more diverse disciplines together is still on the margins and must be encouraged and supported if we are to achieve significant research breakthroughs and tangible global outcomes that benefit people and the planet," Professor Brown said.
Professors Brown, Deletic and Wong also praised Monash University's support to facilitate this important work.
Provost and Senior Vice President, Professor Edwina Cornish said "Monash University is committed to fostering interdisciplinary research excellence and will continue to invest in creating opportunities that empower researchers across all disciplines to engage effectively despite their different approaches."