Integrating the Disciplines of Law and Biology


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Assistant professors seem to avoid cross-disciplinary work. Their intuition may well be justified since interdisciplinary research has many caveats. On top of this, those who like the challenge of integrating disciplines may encounter a paradigm shift, which may lead to a frustrating confusion of notions of truth. This will leave the scholar or scientist alone on an island. Concepts are not understood, assumptions differ, ‘peers’ are not really peers and the new paradigm cannot be proven. It takes much effort to translate concepts. However, in this article I showed that it is possible, even for normative concepts. Academic isolation may also hamper the spreading of their ideas. Translation of concepts can help find a connection. Science is not only about having the best ideas, but also about having peers. Without peers, achieving a breakthrough turns out to be very difficult. The effort of integrating disciplines may turn into a kind of battle, as Kuhn acknowledged. This is sad news for interdisciplinary researchers, but also seems dire news for science as a whole. Major scientific breakthroughs will be significantly delayed. On the other hand, it is also a biological principle that cooperating communities need some stability and cannot reward every rebellious new idea that has the potential to become a new paradigm. Science needs paradigm shifts, but not every day, like society needs rebels, but not too many.

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