The VTI National Transport Library Catalogue

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Multidisciplinarity in transport research and education van Zuylen, Henk J

By: Publication details: Transportation Research Record, 2000Description: nr 1729, s. 75-81Subject(s): Bibl.nr: VTI P8167:1729Location: Abstract: The evolution of science has followed the path of specialization--a certain domain of knowledge within one discipline becomes a discipline in itself with its own paradigms and social structure of scientists and institutions. Multidisciplinarity is the reverse movement; progress is sought not in further specialization but in the integration of several approaches. This kind of research can take many forms. The simplest form of multidisciplinary problem solving is to split problems into subproblems and then solve each subproblem in a monodisciplinary fashion. Another way is to integrate the monodisciplinary contributions into a single, complete solution. A third way is to apply the paradigms of one discipline to enhance the problem-solving potential of another. Research in the domain of transportation is well suited to the different forms of the multidisciplinary approach. Many problems in transportation have aspects in the domains of disciplines ranging from pure engineering to psychology and ethics. Furthermore, only a few practical transportation problems can be solved satisfactorily without the cooperation of many disciplines. Finally, many examples within the domain of transportation show that completely new areas of knowledge have been developed by the integration of elements from other disciplines. Multidisciplinarity for the education of transport and traffic professionals is essential for the healthy development of the transport domain.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
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Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut Available

The evolution of science has followed the path of specialization--a certain domain of knowledge within one discipline becomes a discipline in itself with its own paradigms and social structure of scientists and institutions. Multidisciplinarity is the reverse movement; progress is sought not in further specialization but in the integration of several approaches. This kind of research can take many forms. The simplest form of multidisciplinary problem solving is to split problems into subproblems and then solve each subproblem in a monodisciplinary fashion. Another way is to integrate the monodisciplinary contributions into a single, complete solution. A third way is to apply the paradigms of one discipline to enhance the problem-solving potential of another. Research in the domain of transportation is well suited to the different forms of the multidisciplinary approach. Many problems in transportation have aspects in the domains of disciplines ranging from pure engineering to psychology and ethics. Furthermore, only a few practical transportation problems can be solved satisfactorily without the cooperation of many disciplines. Finally, many examples within the domain of transportation show that completely new areas of knowledge have been developed by the integration of elements from other disciplines. Multidisciplinarity for the education of transport and traffic professionals is essential for the healthy development of the transport domain.

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