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Intervention by Denise Caruso Read Intervention by Denise Caruso, Executive Director of the Hybrid Vigor Silver Award Winner, 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards; Best Business Books 2007, Strategy+Business Magazine


by Denise Caruso ~ February 3, 2007.
Permalink | Filed under: Hybrid Vigor, Collaboration and Sensemaking.

Hybrid Vigor’s co-founder, Diana Rhoten, program director at Social Science Research Council, recently sent me a copy of a fascinating paper that she and Stephanie Pfirman (of Barnard College) published in the journal Research Policy, called “Women in Interdisciplinary Science: Exploring Preferences and Consequences.”

I am still so cranky at the recent story in Nature about how for-profit journal publishers like Elsevier and Wiley want to kill open-source journals like Public Library of Science that I’m tempted to ignore copyright restrictions and post the PDF here out of spite, but she asked me not to.

And I can’t find a @#$% link to it online, so if you aren’t already a subscriber, write Elsevier and complain ask them nicely how you can get a copy. The reference is Research Policy 36 (2007) 56–75.

Here’s the abstract:

For at least a decade, U.S. funding agencies and university campuses have promoted the expansion of interdisciplinary research. At the same time, federal and local programs have sought to increase the participation of women and minorities in science, mathematics, and engineering. Research has focused on each of these trends independently, but very few studies have considered their interaction by asking how intellectual preferences for and professional consequences of interdisciplinary science might be influenced by gender, race, and/or ethnicity. Focused specifically on gender, this paper considers the expectation that women will be more drawn to interdisciplinary research, and explores the learning styles, work preferences, and career behaviors that might anticipate and/or explicate gender differences in interdisciplinary science. Principal mechanisms by which researchers engage in interdisciplinarity – cross-fertilization, team-collaboration, field-creation, and problem-orientation – are tested for evidence of gendering using preliminary empirical data from three studies. The results of this exploratory analysis offer clues about possible tendencies and raise questions about the potential costs and benefits for those who adopt them.

At the moment, Diana is on sabbatical from SSRC, where she’s the director of the Knowledge Institutions program. Apparently her idea of taking a break is to move to WDC for a year; she was invited to help start and direct a new program in the National Science Foundation’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure.


  1. Karen Hunter

    There are two quick ways to get to the article:

    In ScienceDirect (www.sciencedirect.com), there is an easy search by known article — just enter journal title, volume (36), issue (1), and starting page (56).

    Or you can do a DOI look-up. This article’s DOI is 10.1016/j.respol.2006.08.001 and that can be resolved by going to http://dx.doi.org, which will take you right to the abstract.

  2. Denise Caruso

    Thank you!

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