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The Magic of Multidisciplinary Research

5 amazing examples that show how multi-disciplinary research can lead to incredible unexpected breakthroughs.
17 Jan 2018

The Magic of Multidisciplinary Research

Multi-disciplinary research is being actively encouraged and promoted throughout the UK, and the world. This is largely due to the acknowledgement that a multi-disciplinary approach is required to solve many of the challenges we currently face..  At Skilfluence we happen to feel the same way.  There are countless examples of how bringing together multiple disciplines has produced breakthrough solutions that almost certainly wouldn't have been found by focusing on a single area.  

In this blog post we've collect our top 5 examples of multi-discipline research on full display  in the form of five delightful TED Talks. If you're ever needing/wanting to re-affirm your belief in the virtues of a multi-disciplinary approach,  then make yourself a cup of tea, sit back, relax, and enjoy these inspirational, educational and entertaining talks that celebrate multi-disciplinarity. 

1. Can Astronomers Help Doctors? 

How do you measure a nebula? With a brain scan. In this talk, TED Fellow Michelle Borkin shows why collaboration between doctors and astronomers can lead to surprising discoveries


2. A New Way to Heal Hearts without Surgery 

At the intersection of medical invention and indigenous culture, pediatric cardiologist Franz Freudenthal mends holes in the hearts of children across the world, using a device born from traditional Bolivian loom weaving. "The most complex problems in our time," he says, "can be solved with simple techniques, if we are able to dream."


3. The Mathematics of Love

Finding the right mate is no cakewalk -- but is it even mathematically likely? In a charming talk, mathematician Hannah Fry shows patterns in how we look for love, and gives her top three tips (verified by math!) for finding that special someone.


4. Design at the Intersection of Technology and Biology

Designer and architect Neri Oxman is leading the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies can interact with the biological world. Working at the intersection of computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology, her lab is pioneering a new age of symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, our products and even our buildings.


5. What Ants Teach Us about the Brain, Cancer and the Internet.

Ecologist Deborah Gordon studies ants wherever she can find them -- in the desert, in the tropics, in her kitchen ... In this fascinating talk, she explains her obsession with insects most of us would happily swat away without a second thought. She argues that ant life provides a useful model for learning about many other topics, including disease, technology and the human brain.



To find out more about some of our programmes for helping researchers and scientists become more comfortable working in collaborative and and multi-disciplinary environments, visit our website or drop us an e-mail at info@skillfluence.co.uk