Misc, Opinion

Identity in Interdisciplinary Science

Many identities

By definition, an interdisciplinary scientist has the option of multiple identities. For myself, I am a biologist, a mathematician, a statistician, and a computer scientist. What should I call myself? How should I describe my research to a stranger?


Most specialists don’t understand

Interdisciplinary science is still looked upon with skepticism. Most scientists are specialists, usually specializing within their single discipline. They don’t understand how you can be good without specializing. They are skeptical of your ability and your passion. And they are really particularly confused when you hesitate to label yourself as a scientist.

Dynamic identity

It is natural for humans to identify themselves. Although specialists make having a single identity for an interdisciplinarian difficult, we may still prefer it for ourselves. I suggest to be open about your identity. As you develop your many interests, you may change your priorities, and your identity as a result. Don’t be afraid to seek out a completely new field, and don’t be surprised if your scholastic identity changes as a result.

Just have a statement prepped for the various specialists you will encounter.

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