Trans-Disciplinary thinking and teamwork: Reflections on the successes and challenge of two major ARC-Funded Programs spanning the natural sciences and humanities

Event details


Date & time

Friday 29 November 2019


Coombs Extension LT 1.04


Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts


School of Culture, History & Language


There is much current interest in the sciences and humanities in creating research and training programs that span conventional disciplinary boundaries to answer questions that require new insights of a holistic nature and especially to address ‘wicked’ problems that defy simple solutions. Building multidisciplinary teams is relatively straightforward, but forming teams that share a genuinely trans-disciplinary mindset poses a number of significant practical challenges.

In this talk, Bert shall reflect on the ups and downs of two recent trans-disciplinary projects, both of which concern human and environmental ‘deep time’ histories: his ARC Laureate Fellowship, which ended earlier this year, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, which is facing its mid-term review next year. What lessons he has learnt along the way about the trans-disciplinary enterprise, what advice could he offer to those contemplating embarking on a similar journey, and how can we instil a trans-disciplinary ethos in the hearts and minds of the nation’s future workforce? His talk will, act as a catalyst for further discussion about how best to stimulate transdisciplinary research and training in Australia and beyond.

About the Speaker

Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts is from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong.

This seminar is free and open to the public.

Refreshments from 11:30am-12pm, talk from 12pm-1pm, discussion from 1pm-1:30pm.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster