Seven questions around interdisciplinarity in energy research
Pellegrino, M. and Musy, M., 2017. Energy Research & Social Science, 32, pp.1-12
“Interdisciplinarity” is one of the most “fashionable” words to be found in contemporary energy research. The hype and the fuzziness that can characterise its use conceals a bright promise for research: the possibility of opening up new research perspectives, of finding new answers, but also of raising new questions. In this article, we explore interdisciplinarity in energy research through seven questions (corresponding to seven sections): “what does it mean?”, “why?”, “who’s involved?”, “how?”, “what?”, “what barriers?”, and “what prospects?” In the “what does it mean?” section, we will try to illustrate the “degrees of interdisciplinarity” in energy research by means of definitions emanating from recent work. The “why” question focuses on the main benefits of interdisciplinarity, while “who’s involved?” raises the issue of “by whom and with whom”. The “how” section essentially looks at methods and frameworks. The “what” question introduces the main topics of interdisciplinary energy research, presenting the papers that make up this special issue. “What barriers?” and “what prospects?” conclude the paper with an attempt to identify the new research paths that are beginning to emerge.