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Embodied interdisciplinarity: what is the role of polymaths in environmental research?



Interdisciplinarity can be interpreted broadly as an active, multi-faceted learning process between researchers from different disciplines to create a common ground for a special purpose. Interdisciplinary approaches are regarded as necessary in environmental research, especially in view of global environmental change. However, some argue there is a lack of genuine interdisciplinarity in environmental research. Polymaths can play a potentially important role in environmental research. Environmental polymaths can enhance the effectiveness of interdisciplinarity through their knowledge and understanding of different disciplinary languages, epistemologies and methodologies, and as such, should be acknowledged more explicitly in interdisciplinary discussions.


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*Correspondence: Dr Juliette C. Young Tel: +44 131 445 8522 Fax: +44 131 445 3943 e-mail:


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Embodied interdisciplinarity: what is the role of polymaths in environmental research?



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