T.H.E.: '"Interdisciplinarity." The word has become a mantra. The concept has become a human right. The US Constitution needs to be amended to add it to the original Bill of Rights. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen must be updated to include it. Any curtailment of the interdisciplinary impulse warrants a hearing at The Hague.
'But just what is interdisciplinarity, and why is it touted as the intellectual equivalent of penicillin? Taken tamely, interdisciplinarity means venturing beyond one's own discipline to another. The expectation is that something in the other discipline - a fact, a theory, an approach - will abet the practitioner of the home discipline... Taken boldly, interdisciplinarity means more than acquaintance with another discipline. It means the beholdenness of one discipline to another. Here interdisciplinarity is not merely an option but a requirement. Here progress within a discipline can be found only by looking beyond one's native land. To stay within one's discipline is to guarantee parochialism and stagnation. Disciplinary boundaries must be crossed, perhaps even effaced.'